Institutional Affiliation: Barcelona Institute of Political Economy and Governance
|Divided We Stay Home: Social Distancing and Ethnic Diversity|
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Voluntary social distancing plays a vital role in containing the spread of the disease during a pandemic. As a public good, it should be more commonplace in more homogeneous and altruistic societies. However, for healthy people, observing social distancing has private benefits, too. If sick individuals are more likely to stay home, healthy ones have fewer incentives to do so, especially if the asymptomatic transmission is perceived to be unlikely. Theoretically, we show that this interplay may lead to a stricter observance of social distancing in more diverse and less altruistic societies. Empirically, we find that, consistent with the model, the reduction in mobility following the first local case of COVID-19 was stronger in Russian cities with higher ethnic fractionalization and cities w...
|Social Media and Xenophobia: Evidence from Russia|
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We study the causal effect of social media on ethnic hate crimes and xenophobic attitudes in Russia using quasi-exogenous variation in social media penetration across cities. Higher penetration of social media led to more ethnic hate crimes, but only in cities with a high pre-existing level of nationalist sentiment. Consistent with a mechanism of coordination of crimes, the effects are stronger for crimes with multiple perpetrators. We implement a national survey experiment and show that social media persuaded young and low-educated individuals to hold more xenophobic attitudes, but did not increase respondents' openness to expressing these views. Our results are consistent with a simple model of social learning where penetration of social networks increases individuals' propensity to mee...
|Electoral Rules and the Quality of Politicians: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan|
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We examine the effect of electoral rules on the quality of elected officials using a unique field experiment which induced randomized variation in the method of council elections in 250 villages in Afghanistan. In particular, we compare at-large elections, with a single multi-member district, to district elections, with multiple single member districts. We propose a theoretical model where the difference in the quality of elected officials between the two electoral systems occurs because elected legislators have to bargain over policy, which induces citizens in district elections to vote strategically for candidates with more polarized policy positions even at the expense of candidates' competence. Consistent with the predictions of the model, we find that elected officials in at-large ele...
Published: Andrew Beath, Fotini Christia, Georgy Egorov, Ruben Enikolopov; Electoral Rules and Political Selection: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan, The Review of Economic Studies, Volume 83, Issue 3, 1 July 2016, Pages 932–968, https://doi.org/10.1093/restud/rdw018
|Cross-border media and nationalism: Evidence from Serbian radio in Croatia|
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How do nationalistic media affect animosity between ethnic groups? We consider one of Europe's deadliest conflicts since WWII: the Serbo-Croatian conflict. We show that, after a decade of peace, cross-border nationalistic Serbian radio triggers ethnic hatred towards Serbs in Croatia. Mostly attracted by non-political content, many Croats listen to Serbian public radio (intended for Serbs in Serbia) whenever signal is available. As a result, the vote for extreme nationalist parties is higher, and ethnically offensive graffiti are more common, in Croatian villages with Serbian radio reception. A laboratory experiment confirms that Serbian radio exposure causes anti-Serbian sentiment among Croats.
Published: Stefano Della Vigna & Ruben Enikolopov & Vera Mironova & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2014. "Cross-Border Media and Nationalism: Evidence from Serbian Radio in Croatia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 103-32, July. citation courtesy of