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Publié en 2021-09 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2021-08
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We study electoral campaigns over the long run, through the lens of their spending. In particular, we ask whether changing media technologies and electoral environments impacted patterns of spending and their correlation with electoral results. To do so, we build a novel exhaustive dataset on general elections in the United Kingdom from 1857 to 2017, which includes information on campaign spending (itemized by expense categories), electoral outcomes and socio-demographic characteristics for 69, 042 election-constituency candidates. We start by providing new insights on the history of British political campaigns, in particular the growing importance of advertising material, including via digital means, to the detriment of paid staff and electoral meetings. We then show that there is a strong positive correlation between expenditures and votes, and that overall the magnitude of this relationship has strongly increased since the 1880s, with a peak in the last quarter of the 20th century. We link these transformations to changes in the conduct of campaigns, and to the introduction of new information technologies. We show in particular that the expansion of local radio and broadband Internet increased the sensitivity of the electoral results to differences in campaign spending. These results encourage greater contextualization in the drafting of campaign finance regulations.

Publié en 2021-08 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2021-07
TAMAYO Jorge
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Renewable generation creates a tradeoff between current and future energy production as generators produce energy by releasing previously stored resources. Studying the Colombian market, we find that diversified firms strategically substitute fossil fuels for hydropower before droughts. This substitution mitigates the surge in market prices due to the lower hydropower capacity available during dry periods. Diversification can increase prices, instead, if it results from mergers steepening a firm’s residual demand. Thus, integrating production technologies within firms can smooth the clean-energy transition by offsetting higher prices during scarcity periods if the unaffected technologies help store renewables more than exercise market power.

Publié en 2021-06 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2021-05
GUILLOUZOUIC--LE CORFF Arthur
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Using French data, we provide: a) causal evidence that a drop in local public goods provision decreases private sector activity, and b) evidence consistent with monopsony power of the public sector in local labor markets. We introduce a public sector with these two key characteristics in an otherwise standard spatial equilibrium model, and show that it delivers the main stylized facts established in our data, in particular, that the share of the public sector relative to the private is independent of the productivity of the city. We emphasize the tradeoffs between allowing governments to freely choose local public employment and wages (as in most of the US public sector), versus imposing rules that constrain public sector pay with some indexation to the local cost of living (as in many European countries). We show that wage indexation limits monopsony power – leading to a larger public sector – and is optimal if the indexation is sufficiently strong.

Publié en 2021-05 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2021-02
WANG Hongming
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Public procurement bodies increasingly resort to pay-for-performance contracts to promote efficient spending. We show that firm responses to pay-for-performance can widen the inequality in accessing social services. Focusing on the quality bonus payment initiative in Medicare Advantage, we find that higher quality-rated insurers responded to bonus payments by selecting healthier enrollees with premium differences across counties. Selection is profitable because the quality rating fails to adjust for differences in enrollee health. Selection inflated the bonus payments and shifted the supply of high-rated insurance to the healthiest counties, reducing access to lower-priced, higher-rated insurance in the riskiest counties.

Publié en 2021-05 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2021-03
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We ran a large randomized controlled experiment among about 150,000 recipients of unemployment benefits insurance in France in order to evaluate the impact of part-time unemployment benefits. We took advantage of the lack of knowledge of job seekers regarding this program and sent emails presenting the program. The information provision had a significant positive impact on the propensity to work while on claim, but reduced the unemployment exit rate, showing important lock-in effects into unemployment associated with part-time unemployment benefits. The importance of these lock-in effects implies that increasing the marginal tax rate on earnings from work while on claim in the neighborhood of its current level would not decrease labor supply and would decrease the expenditure net of taxes of the unemployment insurance agency.

Publié en 2021-05 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2021-01
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During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicting incentives caused most shareholders to adverse corporate social responsibility (CSR) –measured by firms’ charitable donations– since it would further burden firms’ already strained finances. Those shareholders that favored donations, large individual investors, did so to bolster their own images as they are typically synonymous with the donating firms. Image gains do not pass through to institutional shareholders, who instead preferred to donate themselves rather than having the firms they invested in donate. Taken together, our results cast doubts on large corporations’ willingness to demand costly CSR measures across firms in their portfolios.

Publié en 2021-05 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2021-04
KRAMARZ Francis
NEVOUX Sandra
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To understand which firms take-up short-time work and which workers they enroll in this program, we provide a model which shows that short-time work may save jobs in firms hit by strong negative revenue shocks, but not in less severely-hit firms, where hours worked are reduced, without saving jobs. Using detailed data on the administration of the program covering the universe of French establishments in the 2008-2009 Great Recession, we find that short-time work did indeed save jobs and increase hours of work in firms faced with large negative shocks. These firms have been able to recover rapidly in the aftermath of the Recession thanks to short-time work. We also provide evidence of large windfall effects which significantly increased the cost of the policy per job saved; yet we also find that short-time work remains more cost-efficient at saving jobs than wage subsidies.

Publié en 2021-04 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2021-05
FISMAN Raymond
IORAMASHVILI Carolin
PLEKHANOV Alexander
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We empirically investigate the relationship between corruption and growth using a firm-level data set that is unique in scale, covering almost 88,000 firms across 141 economies in 2006-2020, with wide-ranging corruption experiences. The scale and detail of our data allow us to explore the corruption-growth relationship at a very local level, within industries in a relatively narrow geography. We report three empirical regularities. First, firms that make zero informal payments tend to grow slower than bribers. Second, this result is driven by non-bribers in high-corruption countries. Third, among bribers growth is decreasing in the amount of informal payments in both high- and low-corruption countries. We suggest that this set of results may be reconciled with a simple model in which endogenously determined higher bribe rates lead to lower growth, while non-bribers are often excluded entirely from growth opportunities in high-corruption settings.

Publié en 2020-12 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2020-08
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This paper studies discrimination in financial markets in the context of the “Dreyfus Affair” in 19th century France. We analyze the market performance of firms with Jewish board members during this historical episode. Building on empirical evidence and a model with antisemitic and unbiased agents, we show how investors betting on firms with Jewish connections earned higher returns during the media campaign organized to rehabilitate Dreyfus, the unfairly accused Jewish officer at the center of the Affair. Our paper provides novel evidence that discrimination can affect stock prices and create rents for some market participants. While these rents may attract betting against discriminators, the uncertainty surrounding discriminatory beliefs can limit the extent of arbitrage and allow discrimination to survive in the long run.

Publié en 2020-12 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2020-11
DAGORRET Anna
GROSJEAN Pauline
JHA Saumitra
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Can heroes legitimize strongly-proscribed and repugnant political behaviors? We exploit the purposefully arbitrary rotation of French regiments to measure the legitimizing effects of heroic credentials. 53% of French line regiments happened to rotate under a specific general, Philippe Pétain, during the pivotal WWI battle of Verdun (1916). Using recently declassified intelligence data on 95,314 individuals, we find the home municipalities of regiments serving under Pétain at Verdun raised 7% more Nazi collaborators during the Pétain led Vichy regime (1940-44). The effects are similar across joining Fascist parties, German forces, paramilitaries that hunted Jews and the Resistance, and collaborating economically. These municipalities also increasingly vote for right-wing parties between the wars. The voting effects persist after WWII, becoming particularly salient during social crises. We argue these results reflect the complementary role of the heroes of Verdun in legitimizing and diffusing the authoritarian values of their former leader.

Publié en 2020-12 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2020-07
BEKKOUCHE Yasmine
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What is the impact of campaign spending on votes? Does it vary across election types, political parties or electoral settings? Estimating these effects requires comprehensive data on spending across candidates, parties and elections, as well as identification strategies that handle the endogenous and strategic nature of campaign spending in multiparty systems. This paper provides novel contributions in both of these areas. We build a new comprehensive dataset of all French legislative and UK general elections over the 1993-2017 period. We propose new empirical specifications, including a new instrument that relies on the fact that candidates are differentially affected by regulation on the source of funding on which they depend the most. We find that an increase in spending per voter consistently improves candidates’ vote share, both at British and French elections, and that the effect is heterogeneous depending on candidates’ party. In particular, we show that spending by radical and extreme parties has much lower returns than spending by mainstream parties, and that this can be partly explained by the social stigma attached to extreme voting. Our findings help reconcile the conflicting results of the existing literature, and improve our understanding of why campaigns matter.

Publié en 2020-12 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2020-12
PANON Ludovic
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This paper proposes a new determinant of labor share changes. Using micro-data on the universe of French manufacturing exporters over 1995-2007, I show that a measure of export demand growth exogenous to firm- level outcomes drives down the manufacturing labor share through two effects. First, foreign demand shocks allow low-labor share, highly internationalized “superstar” exporters to grow disproportionately more. Second, foreign demand growth decreases the labor share of exporters and this effect is stronger for larger exporters. Both effects explain 12% of the labor share decline over 1995-2000 and led to a 1.2 percentage point drop over 2000-2007. A simple model of endogenous competition with heterogeneous firms rationalizes the findings. A market size increase allows exporters to expand, which decreases their share of fixed labor cost in value-added, and increases competition on international markets. Fiercer competition favors superstar exporters, further decreasing their labor share through the fixed cost channel. Overall, these findings provide direct causal evidence of a “winner take most” phenomenon induced by trade globalization.

in The Quarterly journal of economics Sous la direction de HARVARD UNIVERSITY Publié en 2020-11
OBERFIELD Ezra
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The strength of contract enforcement determines how firms source inputs and organize production. Using microdata on Indian manufacturing plants, we show that production and sourcing decisions appear systematically distorted in states with weaker enforcement. Specifically, we document that in industries that tend to rely more heavily on relationship-specific intermediate inputs, plants in states with more-congested courts shift their expenditures away from intermediate inputs and have a greater vertical span of production. To quantify the effect of these distortions on aggregate productivity, we construct a model in which plants have several ways of producing, each with different bundles of inputs. Weak enforcement exacerbates a holdup problem that arises when using inputs that require customization, distorting both the intensive and extensive margins of input use. The equilibrium organization of production and the network structure of input-output linkages arise endogenously from the producers’ simultaneous cost-minimization decisions. We identify the structural parameters that govern enforcement frictions from cross-state variation in the first moments of producers’ cost shares. A set of counterfactuals show that enforcement frictions lower aggregate productivity to an extent that is relevant on the macro scale.

Publié en 2020-07 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2020-09
HJORT Jonas
IYER Vinayak
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Evidence suggests that firms in poor countries stagnate because they cannot access growth-conducive markets. We hypothesize that overlooked heterogeneity in marketing ability distorts market access. To investigate, we gave a random subset of Liberian firms vouchers for a week-long program that teaches how to sell to corporations, governments, and other large buyers. Firms that participate win about three times as many contracts, but only firms with access to the Internet benefit. We use a simple model and variation in online and offline demand to show evidence that this is because ICT dampens traditional information frictions, but not marketing barriers.

Publié en 2020-06 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2020-06
ZHURAVSKAYA Ekaterina
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Using an online randomized experiment in the context of the 2019 European elections campaign in France, we study how fact-checking affects sharing of false news on social media. We exposed over 4200 voting-age French to statements on the role of the EU made by the extreme right populist party Rassemblement National. A randomly selected subgroup of experiment participants was also presented with fact-checking of these statements; another subgroup was offered a choice whether to view the fact-checking or not. Then, all participants could choose whether to share the false statements on their Facebook pages. We show that: (i) both imposed and voluntary fact-checking reduced sharing of false statements by more than 25%; (ii) the size of the effect was similar between imposed and voluntary fact-checking; and (iii) each additional click required to share false statements reduced sharing by 75%.

in The Quarterly journal of economics Sous la direction de HARVARD UNIVERSITY Publié en 2020-05
BAZZI Samuel
KOEHLER-DERRICK Gabriel
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Why do religious politics thrive in some societies but not others? This paper explores the institutional foundations of this process in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim democracy. We show that a major Islamic institution, the waqf, fostered the entrenchment of political Islam at a critical historical juncture. In the early 1960s, rural elites transferred large amounts of land into waqf —a type of inalienable charitable trust—to avoid expropriation by the government as part of a major land reform effort. Although the land reform was later undone, the waqf properties remained. We show that greater intensity of the planned reform led to more prevalent waqf land and Islamic institutions endowed as such, including religious schools, which are strongholds of the Islamist movement. We identify lasting effects of the reform on electoral support for Islamist parties, preferences for religious candidates, and the adoption of Islamic legal regulations (sharia). Overall, the land reform contributed to the resilience and eventual rise of political Islam by helping to spread religious institutions, thereby solidifying the alliance between local elites and Islamist groups. These findings shed new light on how religious institutions may shape politics in modern democracies.

Publié en 2020-04 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2020-05
HERVELIN Jérémy
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In France, two years after school completion and getting the same diploma, the employment rate of apprentices is about 15 percentage points higher than that of vocational students. Despite this difference, this paper shows that there is almost no difference between the probability of getting a callback from employers for unemployed youth formerly either apprentices or vocational students. This result indicates that the higher employment rate of apprentices does not rely, in the French context, on better job access of those who do not remain in their training firms. The estimation of a job search and matching model shows that the expansion of apprenticeship has very limited effects on youth unemployment if this is not accompanied by an increase in the retention of apprentices in their training firm.

Publié en 2020-04 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2020-04
ALVIAREZ Vanessa
HEAD Keith
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We assess the consequences for consumers in 76 countries of multinational acquisitions in beer and spirits. Outcomes depend on how changes in ownership affect markups versus efficiency. We find that owner fixed effects contribute very little to the performance of brands. On average, foreign ownership tends to raise costs and lower appeal. Using the estimated model, we simulate the consequences of counterfactual national merger regulation. The US beer price index would have been 4–7% higher without divestitures. Up to 30% savings could have been obtained in Latin America by emulating the pro-competition policies of the US and EU.

Publié en 2020-01 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2020-01
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This paper shows that a firm’s objectives can extend beyond profit maximization. I use data from a for-profit firm offering charity auctions of celebrities belongings whose donations affect both revenues and costs. Comparing actual donations with the profit-maximizing benchmark indicates that the firm donates in excess of profitmaximization. I provide additional evidence pointing to donations as a further objective of the firm. Also, donations do not substantially increase willingness to pay, indicating that demand cannot explain expenditures in CSR. My results shed light on the functioning of benefit corporations and open questions on the competitive conduct of non-profit maximizing companies.

Publié en 2020-01 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2019-17
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Using a nationally representative longitudinal survey of lawyers in the U.S., we document a sizeable gap between men and women in their early aspirations to become law firm partners, despite similar early investments and educational characteristics. This aspiration gap can explain a large part of the gender promotion gap that is observed later. We propose a model to understand the role of aspirations and then empirically test its predictions. We show that aspirations create incentives to exert effort and are correlated with expectations of success and the preference for becoming a partner. We further show that aspirations are affected by early work experiences—facing harassment or demeaning comments early in the career affects long-term promotion outcomes mediated via aspirations. Our research highlights the importance of accounting for, and managing, career aspirations as an early intervention to close gender career gaps.

Publié en 2019-12 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2020-02
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This paper presents, solves, and estimates the first structural auction model with seller selection. This allows me to quantify network effects arising from endogenous bidder and seller entry into auction platforms, facilitating the estimation of theoretically ambiguous fee impacts by tracing them through the game. Relevant model primitives are identified from variation in second-highest bids and reserve prices. My estimator builds off the discrete choice literature to address the double nested fixed point characterization of the entry equilibrium. Using new wine auction data, I estimate that this platform’s revenues increase up to 60% when introducing a bidder discount and simultaneously increasing seller fees. More bidders enter when the platform is populated with lower-reserve setting sellers, driving up prices. Moreover, I show that meaningful antitrust damages can be estimated in a platform setting despite this two-sidedness.

Publié en 2019-11 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2019-15
WANG Hongming
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Pay-for-performance is commonly employed to improve the quality of social services contracted out to firms. We show that insurer responses to pay-for-performance can widen the inequality in accessing social services. Focusing on the U.S. Medicare Advantage market, we find that high-quality insurance contracts responded to quality-linked payments by selecting healthier enrollees with premium differences across counties. The selection is profitable because the quality rating fails to adjust for pre-existing health differences of enrollees. As a result, quality improved mostly due to selection, and the supply of high-quality insurance shifted to the healthiest counties. Revising the quality rating could prevent these unintended consequences.

Publié en 2019-11 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2019-16
BOSQUET Clément
COMBES Pierre-Philippe
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Using an instrument based on a national contest in France determining researchers’ location, we find evidence of peer effects in academia, when focusing on precise groups of senders (producing the spillovers) and receivers (benefiting from the spillovers), defined based on field of specialisation, gender and age. These peer effects are shown to exist even outside formal co-authorship relationships. Furthermore, the match between the characteristics of senders and receivers plays a critical role. In particular, men benefit a lot from peer effects provided by men, while all other types of gender combinations produce spillovers twice as small.

Publié en 2019-10 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2019-14
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The increase in wealth-to-income ratios in the second half of XXth century has recently received much attention. We decompose the trend in physical capital and housing, further decomposed into structures and land. In four out of five major countries analyzed, the positive trend in capital-income ratio arises from housing and specifically from its land component. We therefore revisit the question of wealth inequality and taxation in adopting a Georgist perspective (from Henry George, 1879) subsequently endorsed by prominent economists. We introduce land and housing structures in Judd’s optimal taxation framework. We show that an optimal taxation implies a property tax on land and no tax on capital. When the range of property taxes is politically constrained, taxing the product of housing rents is not optimal, even with additional taxes on "imputed rents". Rent taxes are however less distortive than a capital tax. The distortion depends on the share of housing structures and how they react to the tax on rents. However, a tax on rents complemented by a subsidy on structures investments in rental housing units does almost as well as a land tax. As a side result, we find that Judd’s result of no second best capital taxation extends to a larger range of parameters at the steady-state.

Publié en 2019-09 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2019-12
KOUTSOUGERAS Leonidas
SANTOS Manuel
XU Fei
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It is well known that in the presence of asymmetric information, adverse selection has detrimental effects on possible exchanges. We go a step further, and present a game-theoretic setup in which under such adverse selection effects there are uncertain benefits for bribing unknown players’ types (e.g., individuals, committees, or companies). A policy maker may then want to design indirect anti-corruption policies based on triggering failures for bribery attempts. In our stylized framework, we get a complete unraveling of bribes. This result can be extended to more complex environments under fairly mild conditions on players’ payoff functions.

Publié en 2019-07 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2019-11
LARREGUY Horacio
REID Otis
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We estimate the effects of one of the largest anti-vote-buying campaigns ever studied—with half a million voters exposed across 1427 villages—in Uganda’s 2016 elections. Working with civil society organizations, we designed the study to estimate how voters and candidates responded to their campaign in treatment and spillover villages, and how impacts varied with campaign intensity. Despite its heavy footprint, the campaign did not reduce politician offers of gifts in exchange for votes. However, it had sizable effects on people’s votes. Votes swung from well-funded incumbents (who buy most votes) towards their poorly-financed challengers. We argue the swing arose from changes in village social norms plus the tactical response of candidates. While the campaign struggled to instill norms of refusing gifts, it leveled the electoral playing field by convincing some voters to abandon norms of reciprocity—thus accepting gifts from politicians but voting for their preferred candidate.

Publié en 2019-07 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2019-10
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In this paper, we document the presence of “technology-induced” trade in France between 1997 and 2007 and assess its impact on consumer welfare. We use the staggered roll-out of broadband internet to estimate its causal effect on the importing behavior of affected firms. Using an event-study design, we find that broadband expansion increases firm-level imports by around 25%. We further find that the “sub-extensive” margin (number of products and sourcing countries per firm) is the main channel of adjustment and that the effect is larger for capital goods. Finally, we develop a model where firms optimize over their import strategy and which yields a sufficient statistics formula for the quantification of the effects of broadband on consumer welfare. Interpreted within this model, our reduced-form estimates imply that broadband internet reduced the consumer price index by 1.7% and that the import-channel, i.e. the enhanced access to foreign goods that is allowed by broadband, accounts for a quarter of that effect.

Publié en 2019-06 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2019-09
BEKKOUCHE Yasmine
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What is the impact of campaign spending on votes? Does it vary across election types and across political parties? Estimating these effects requires comprehensive data on spending across candidates, parties and elections, as well as identification strategies that successfully deal with the endogeneity of campaign spending. We provide novel contributions in both of these areas. We build a new comprehensive dataset of all French municipal and legislative elections over the 1993-2014 period. We propose two new instruments to overcome the endogenous nature of campaign spending; they rely on the fact that candidates are differentially affected by regulation on campaign funding depending on the source of funding they depend on the most. We find that an increase in spending per voter consistently increases a candidate’s vote share both for municipal and legislative elections, and that the effect is heterogeneous depending on the party. In particular, we show that spending by extreme-right candidates has much lower returns than spending by other parties. Our findings help reconcile the conflicting results of the existing literature, and improve our understanding of the mechanisms at play.

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.

Publié en 2019-04 Collection Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2019-05
HERVÉ Nicolas
VIAUD Marie-Luce
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This paper documents the extent of copying and estimates the returns to originality in online news production. We build a unique dataset combining all the online content produced by French news media during the year 2013 with new micro audience data. We develop a topic detection algorithm that identifies each news event, trace the timeline of each story, and study news propagation. We unravel new evidence on online news production. First, we document high reactivity of online media: one quarter of the news stories are reproduced online in under 4 minutes. Second, we show that this comes with extensive copying: only 33% of the online content is original. Third, we investigate the cost of copying for original news producers. Using article-level variations and media-level daily audience combined with article-level social media statistics, we find that readers partly switch to the original producers, thereby mitigating the newsgathering incentive problem raised by copying.

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