Co-auteur
  • FRIEBEL Guido (5)
  • ZHURAVSKAYA Ekaterina (5)
  • SONIN Konstantin (4)
  • BHATTACHARYA Sudipto (3)
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Type de Document
  • Article (28)
  • Partie ou chapitre de livre (9)
  • Working paper (9)
  • Communication dans des actes de colloque publiés (2)
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Publié en 2019-06 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2019-13
MELNIKOV Nikita
ZHURAVSKAYA Ekaterina
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How does the internet affect government approval? Using surveys of 840,537 individuals from 2,232 subnational regions in 116 countries in 2008-2017 from the Gallup World Poll and the global expansion of 3G networks, we show that an increase in internet access reduces government approval and increases the perception of corruption in government. This effect is present only when the internet is not censored and is stronger when traditional media is censored. Actual incidents of corruption translate into higher corruption perception only in places covered by 3G. In Europe, the expansion of mobile internet increased vote shares of anti-establishment populist parties.

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This article draws on a natural experiment to identify the relationship between income and trust. We use a unique panel data set on Russia where GDP experienced an 8% drop in 2009. The effect of the crisis had been uneven among Russian regions because of their differences in industrial structure inherited from the Soviet period. After instrumenting average regional income by Soviet industrial structure, we find that 10% decrease in income is associated with a five percentage point decrease in social trust. We also find that post-crisis economic recovery did not fully restore pre-crisis trust level.

in Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization Publié en 2019-03
SPECIALE Biagio
TUCCIO Michele
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We study wage adjustment during the recent crisis in Italy using a unique dataset on immigrant workers that includes those employed in formal and informal sector. We find that before the crisis immigrants’ wages in the formal and informal sectors moved in parallel (with a 15% premium in the formal labor market). During the crisis, however, formal wages did not adjust down while wages in the unregulated informal labor market fell so that by 2013 the gap had grown to 32%. The difference was particularly salient for workers in occupations where the minimum wage is likely to be binding, and in “simple” occupations where there is high substitutability between immigrant and native workers. Calibrating a simple partial equilibrium model of spillovers between formal and informal markets, we find that less than 10% of workers who lost a formal job during the crisis move to the informal sector. We also find that if the formal sector wages were fully flexible, the decline in formal employment would be in the range of 1.5–4.5%—much lower than 16% decline that we observe in the data.

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Chris Miller’s book is a historian’s account of Mikhail Gorbachev’s efforts to save the Soviet economy. Miller focuses on the question of why Gorbachev did not follow Deng Xiaoping and did not manage to reform the economy. Miller argues that it was not for the lack of understanding (Gorbachev did invest in learning China’s approach to reform and did understand it well), nor for the lack of trying. In fact, Gorbachev did try to implement Deng’s agricultural and industrial enterprise reforms. However, Gorbachev’s reforms were blocked by powerful vested interests. An inability to tackle the agricultural and industrial lobbies eventually resulted in the bankruptcy and collapse of the Soviet Union. While I generally agree with the political economy argument, I discuss a number of alternative explanations. I also discuss sources of Gorbachev’s weak state capacity and offer an evaluation of Gorbachev’s and post-Gorbachev reform efforts and mistakes based on the political economy research carried out in the last twenty-five years.

Publié en 2018-12 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2018-09
BARRERA Oscar
ZHURAVSKAYA Ekaterina
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How effective is fact checking in countervailing “alternative facts,” i.e., misleading statements by politicians? In a randomized online experiment during the 2017 French presidential election campaign, we subjected subgroups of 2480 French voters to alternative facts by the extreme-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, and/or corresponding facts about the European refugee crisis from official sources. We find that: (i) alter- native facts are highly persuasive; (ii) fact checking improves factual knowledge of voters (iii) but it does not affect policy conclusions or support for the candidate; (iv) exposure to facts alone does not decrease support for the candidate, even though voters update their knowledge. We argue that the main channel is that fact checking increases the salience of the immigration issue.

in Journal of Comparative Economics Publié en 2018-09
MELNIKOV Nikita
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The “transition happiness gap” has been one of the most robust findings in the literature on life satisfaction. Until very recently, scholars using various datasets have shown that residents of post-communist countries were significantly less satisfied with their lives than their counterparts in non-transition countries (controlling for income and other socio-economic characteristics). The literature has explained this finding by the great macroeconomic instability of the 1990s, by a substantial decrease in the quality and accessibility of public goods, by the major increase in inequality, and by the rapid depreciation of pre-transition human capital. All these factors were expected to subside over time – at least after the post-Great-Recession recovery. In this paper, we consider two most recent datasets – the third wave of the Life in Transition Survey (administered in 2015–16) and the 2010–2016 waves of the annual Gallup World Poll. We find that by 2016 the transition happiness gap had closed. This convergence has taken place both due to a “happiness recovery” in post-communist countries after the Great Recession and due to a decrease in life satisfaction in comparator countries in recent years. We also find that the convergence in life satisfaction was primarily driven by middle-income young, educated individuals, regardless of gender.

in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity Publié en 2017
PAPAIOANNOU Elias
PASSARI Evgenia
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We study the implications of the Great Recession for voting for antiestablishment parties, as well as for general trust and political attitudes, using regional data across Europe. We find a strong relationship between increases in unemployment and voting for nonmainstream parties, especially populist ones. Moreover, unemployment increases in tandem with declining trust toward national and European political institutions, though we find only weak or no effects of unemployment on interpersonal trust. The correlation between unemployment and attitudes toward immigrants is muted, especially for their cultural impact. To explore causality, we extract the component of increases in unemployment explained by the precrisis structure of the economy, in particular the share of construction in regional value added, which is strongly related both to the buildup preceding and the bursting of the crisis. Our results imply that crisis-driven economic insecurity is a substantial determinant of populism and political distrust.

in American Economic Review Publié en 2016-05
MELNIKOV Nikita
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We use weekly data from 79 Russian regions to measure the impact of economic shocks and proximity to war in Ukraine on social capital in Russian regions. We proxy social capital by the relative intensity of internet searches for the most salient dimensions of pro-social behavior such as "donate blood", "charity", "adopt a child" etc. This measure of social capital is correlated with a survey-based measure of generalized social trust. Our search-based measure of social capital responds negatively to the spikes of inflation and positively to the intensity of the conflict in Ukraine (controlling for region and week fixed effects).

in The Economic Journal Publié en 2015-12
KLIMENKO Mikhail
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We use a dynamic incomplete contracting model to show that time structure of trade agreements is related to the characteristics of trade-facilitating investments. If these investments are specialised to trade in a particular homogeneous good, fixed-term agreements are more likely. Fixed-term agreements provide incentives for the initial investment but leave the parties the flexibility to revisit the need for future investment. If the agreement covers trade in multiple sectors or differentiated goods or services, inter-sectoral spillovers reduce risks of overinvestment. In this case, the parties are more likely to choose an evergreen agreement (with an advance termination notice).

in Journal of Comparative Economics Publié en 2015-08
VAKULENKO Elena
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We study barriers to labor mobility using panel data on gross region-to-region migration flows in Russia in 1996–2010. Using both parametric and semiparametric methods and controlling for region-to-region pairwise fixed effects, we find a non-monotonic relationship between income and migration. In richer regions, higher incomes result in lower migration outflows. However, in the poorest regions, an increase in incomes results in higher emigration. This is consistent with the presence of geographical poverty traps: potential migrants want to leave the poor regions but cannot afford to move. We also show that economic growth and financial development have allowed most Russian regions to grow out of poverty traps bringing down interregional differentials of wages, incomes and unemployment rates.

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