Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Do Political Protests Matter?: Evidence from the Tea Party Movement
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2013 (English)In: Quarterly Journal of Economics, ISSN 0033-5533, E-ISSN 1531-4650, Vol. 128, no 4, 1633-1685 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Can protests cause political change, or are they merely symptoms of underlying shifts in policy preferences? We address this question by studying the Tea Party movement in the United States, which rose to prominence through coordinated rallies across the country on Tax Day, April 15, 2009. We exploit variation in rainfall on the day of these rallies as an exogenous source of variation in attendance. We show that good weather at this initial, coordinating event had significant consequences for the subsequent local strength of the movement, increased public support for Tea Party positions, and led to more Republican votes in the 2010 midterm elections. Policy making was also affected, as incumbents responded to large protests in their district by voting more conservatively in Congress. Our estimates suggest significant multiplier effects: an additional protester increased the number of Republican votes by a factor well above 1. Together our results show that protests can build political movements that ultimately affect policy making and that they do so by influencing political views rather than solely through the revelation of existing political preferences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 128, no 4, 1633-1685 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-96879DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjt021ISI: 000325776900005OAI: diva2:667981


Available from: 2013-11-28 Created: 2013-11-28 Last updated: 2013-11-28Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Madestam, Andreas
By organisation
Department of Economics
In the same journal
Quarterly Journal of Economics

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 22 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link