Collective action in networks: Evidence from the Chilean student movement
Abstract: Hundreds of thousands of high-school students skipped school during the 2011 student movement in Chile to protest and reform educational institutions. Using administrative data of daily school attendance I present causal evidence of complementarities in school skipping decisions within student networks in national protest days. Identification relies on partially overlapping networks and within school exposure to an inaugural college protest. A structural estimation of a coordination game with incomplete information also supports the existence of these complementarities. Importantly, I show that skipping school imposed significant educational costs on students but it also helped to shift votes towards non-traditional candidates more aligned with their demands.
Keywords: collective action, networks, protests
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