Persistent Political Engagement: Social Interactions and the Dynamics of Protest Movements
AbstractWe study the causes of sustained participation in political movements. To identify the persistent effect of protest participation, we randomly indirectly incentivize Hong Kong university students into participation in an antiauthoritarian protest. To identify the role of social networks, we randomize this treatment's intensity across major-cohort cells. We find that incentives to attend one protest within a political movement increase subsequent protest attendance but only when a sufficient fraction of an individual's social network is also incentivized to attend the initial protest. One-time mobilization shocks have dynamic consequences, with mobilization at the social network level important for sustained political engagement.
CitationBursztyn, Leonardo, Davide Cantoni, David Y. Yang, Noam Yuchtman, and Y. Jane Zhang. 2021. "Persistent Political Engagement: Social Interactions and the Dynamics of Protest Movements." American Economic Review: Insights, 3 (2): 233-50. DOI: 10.1257/aeri.20200261
- D72 Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D74 Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
- I23 Higher Education; Research Institutions
- Z13 Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification