Brown bag seminar | Measuring the tolerance of the state: Theory and application to protest
Measuring the tolerance of the state: Theory and application to protest
Authors: Veli M. Andirin, Yusuf Neggers, Mehdi Shadmehr, Jesse M. Shapiro
We develop a measure of a regime’s tolerance for an action by its citizens. We ground our measure in an economic model and apply it to the setting of political protest. In the model, a regime anticipating a protest can take a costly action to repress it. We define the regime’s tolerance as the ratio of its cost of repression to its cost of protest. Because an intolerant regime will engage in repression whenever protest is sufficiently likely, a regime’s tolerance determines the maximum equilibrium probability of protest. Tolerance can therefore be identified from the distribution of protest probabilities. We construct a novel cross-national database of protest occurrence and protest predictors, and apply machine-learning methods to estimate protest probabilities. We use the estimated protest probabilities to form a measure of tolerance at the country, country-year, and country-month levels. We apply the measure to questions of interest.
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About the speaker
Jesse M. Shapiro is also a visiting Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.
His research interest is within political economy and behavioral economics but recently his research has focused on polarization in the media and in political opinions.
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