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An article co-authored by Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professors Ruben Enikolopov (ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE - on leave) and Maria Petrova (ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE) has won the American Economic Associations' 2021 AEJ Best Paper Award in Applied Economics.

In their paper, Social Media and Corruption (with Konstantin Sonin), the authors explore whether new media promote accountability in non-democratic countries, where offline media is often suppressed. They show that blog posts, which exposed corruption in Russian state-controlled companies, had a negative causal impact on their market returns. They also show that the posts are ultimately associated with higher management turnover and less minority shareholder conflicts. Taken together, their results suggest that social media can discipline corruption even in a country with limited political competition and heavily censored traditional media.

Read a non-technical summary of the paper on the AEA's website

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