What affects the decision to take an active part in social justice protests? The impacts of confidence in society, time preference and interest in politics

Tal Shavit, Eyal Lahav, Shosh Shahrabani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the factors that affect an individual's decision to take an active part in social justice protests. We use data collected after the 2011 Israeli social justice protests against the continuing rise in the cost of living, the social order and power-structure in Israel. Our main hypotheses are based on the expressive behavior model, and suggest that active participation in protests produces expressive utility that changes the cost-benefit calculation in the decision to be active in social protests. The results show that individuals who decided to participate actively in the non-violent protest had low general confidence in the future of the Israeli society. The findings also suggest that active participants are less present-oriented, less risk averse, and have a higher interest in politics, compared to those who did not participate actively. In addition, the more active participants tend to live in rented homes, meaning that their self-interest in housing-related issues is high. Finally, we find that women and those who support a non-aggressive military policy were more likely to participate in protests. These results shed light on behavioral and sociological factors affecting the decision to protest, specifically in Israeli society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-63
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Expressive behavior
  • Identity
  • Social order
  • Time
  • Trust

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