Econ Seminar: Andrey Tkachenko (Nazarbayev University)

Andrey Tkachenko (linkfrom Nazarbayev University (Astana) will present his paper entitled  "Public opinion in wartime censorship: evidence from Russia" on Wednesday, 6th of March at 11.45.  The seminar will be physical at FASS 2054 but it can also be attended  at the following link


Public opinion in wartime censorship: evidence from Russia

How reliable are public opinion polls in wartime censorship of authoritarian regimes? Academic debates on this question have arisen with renewed vigor after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine and media coverage of the substantial support for the invasion by the majority of the Russian population. We answer this question by exploiting 30 waves of public opinion polls for 2022 - 2023 and objective behavioral measures in subnational regions. First, we show that the ordinal geographical variation in public opinion corresponds well to the objective measures - war support is significantly lower in regions with higher anti-war protest activity, while claimed war participation is higher in regions with higher objective war participation activity. Second, we demonstrate a substantial selective non-response in public opinion polls based on these objective measures, suggesting that the cardinal levels of war support are biased. Finally, using the difference-in-differences, we show a strong negative effect of casualties on war support when one properly reweights public opinion polls correcting for the selective non-response. In contrast, the traditional post-stratification reweighting shows a non-significant effect.