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The Impact of the Internet Use on State Stability

Student: Darya Shardina

Supervisor: Alexander Skorobogatov

Faculty: St.Petersburg School of Economics and Management

Educational Programme: Economics (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2021

The emergence of the Internet and social networks has influenced all spheres of society, including the political one. This study aims to test empirically the hypothesis of the dependence between Internet use and political stability in the state. In addition, the work tests the assumptions of the theoretical model of Chris Edmond (2013) about the manipulation of information that describes the relationship between the regime's ability to resist an uprising and the number of sources of information, including the influence of social networks. The methodology used in this paper is related to the analysis of econometric models with fixed individual and time effects, as well as a model with a lagged dependent variable assessed with Arellano-Bond estimator. The study is conducted on the basis of panel data, including indicators for 96 countries of the world from 2002 to 2016. In addition, the paper separately considers the impact of Internet use on political stability for countries with high and low levels of national income per capita due to possible difference in the specifics of their political and economic development. As a result of the study, it was found that as the number of people using the Internet increases, the index of political stability behave itself the same way. However, for developed countries, the studied relationship turned out to be stronger compared to the coefficient for countries with low national income. The findings regarding the main variables contradict the assumptions of Edmond (2013). It was also revealed that the weighted index of conflicts negatively affects political stability, while the index of press freedom has a positive effect. Among the economic indicators that have a significant effect on stability in politics were the level of democracy (positive impact) and trade openness (negative one).

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