陈硕 香港科技大学博士，复旦大学经济系副教授，研究领域为发展经济学、政治经济学及经济史。在American Political Science Review、American Economic Journal: Applied Economics、Journal of Economic Growth、《经济研究》、《管理世界》、《世界经济》、《统计研究》及《经济学季刊》等中英文期刊发表多篇论文。其研究成果已经被哈佛大学、芝加哥大学、华盛顿大学等欧美高校经济系和政治系的研究生课程列入阅读材料。
Abstract: This paper explores the effects of social media on government accountability under authoritarian regimes. To be specific, it examines whether there exists disciplining effect of online discussion on the officials’ scandals. Based on a unique dataset containing records of scandals discussed on the microblog in China from 2011 to 2012, we systematically study their effects on the government responding process and officials’ disciplining. We find that the authoritarian regime indeed employs certain strategies: more online discussion leads to quicker government responses and more severe punishment of the involved officials. Meanwhile, compared with the dereliction of duty and the inappropriate talks and behaviors, scandals involving sexual and economic factors capture more attention and get quicker responses; the related officials also get more severe punishment. Concerning the different properties of scandals, the findings are still robust. By exploiting the rainfall as the instrument for the online discussion to mitigate the endogeneity, the results still corroborate the baseline estimation. Our findings suggest that the strategies of information management in authoritarian regimes are not only reflected in deciding what kind of information can be released, in another word, censorship, but also in responding to those survival negative information.