Digital Networks and the Diffusion of Political Movements

We exploit the staggered introduction of 3G mobile internet in Africa to examine the effect of new communication technologies on the spread of political unrest in and across countries. We design a novel empirical strategy that allows us to separate the direct effect of mobile internet on unrest from spillovers. We find that digital communication networks lead to the spread of unrest independent of physical distance. Preliminary evidence suggests that social media constitute an important channel.

The Party and the Firm

We use detailed administrative firm data and natural language processing techniques to understand the scope of and motivations underlying the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) growing involvement in the operations of private firms in China.