Program on Political Economy Seminar


Thursday, September 17, 2020, 4:30pm to 5:45pm



Zoom links for Political Economy Seminar are distributed via the seminar's mailing list. You can sign up for the list using this link:

Today's presenter

Sergei Guriev, Paris Institute of Political Studies (Science Po), Paris, "3G Internet and Confidence in Government." Download paper below. 

All interested faculty and students are invited to attend. 


How does mobile broadband 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 third generation (3G) mobile networks, we show that, on average, an increase in mobile broadband internet access reduces government approval. This effect is present only when the internet is not censored and is stronger when traditional media is censored. 3G helps expose actual corruption in government: revelations of the Panama Papers and corruption incidents translate into higher perceptions of corruption in regions covered by 3G networks. The disillusionment of voters in governments had electoral implications: In Europe, the expansion of mobile broadband internet led to a decrease in the vote shares of incumbent parties and an increase in the vote shares of the antiestablishment populist opposition. The vote shares of the nonpopulist opposition were unaffected by the expansion of 3G networks.

Co-sponsored by FAS and IQSS, the Program on Political Economy (PE) supports research-related activities that integrate the study of economics and politics, whether by studying economic behavior in the political process or political behavior in the marketplace. In general, positive political economy is concerned with showing how observed differences among institutions affect political and economic outcomes in various social, economic, and political systems and how the institutions themselves change and develop in response to individual and collective beliefs, preferences, and strategies. 

Sergei Guriev - 3g_internet_and_confidence_in_government.pdf12.92 MB