Protests and trust in the state: Evidence from African countries

Marc Sangnier, Yanos Zylberberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
193 Downloads (Pure)


This paper provides empirical evidence that, after protests, citizens substantially revise their views on the current leader, but also their trust in the country's institutions. The empirical strategy exploits variation in the timing of an individual level survey and the proximity to social protests in 13 African countries. First, we find that trust in political leaders strongly and abruptly decreases after protests. Second, trust in the country monitoring institutions plunges as well. Both effects are much stronger when protests are repressed by the government. As no signs of distrust are recorded even a couple of days before the social conflicts, protests can be interpreted as sudden signals sent on a leaders' actions from which citizens extract information on their country fundamentals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-67
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Early online date1 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Structured keywords

  • ECON Applied Economics


  • Protests
  • trust
  • institutions
  • leaders


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