Tatiana Bezdenezhnykh*, Santiago Lopez**
Lucie Giorgi : lucie.giorgi[at]univ-amu.fr
Ricardo Guzman : ricardo.guzman[at]univ-amu.fr
Natalia Labrador : natalia.labrador-bernate[at]univ-amu.fr
Nathan Vieira : nathan.vieira[at]univ-amu.fr
*Authoritarian regimes increasingly use misinformation to convince citizens of the regime's competence. Although this approach appears to be effective in shaping public opinion, citizens may benchmark official news against their economic circumstances, market prices, and other observables and update their beliefs accordingly. We document the effect of propaganda on citizens’ beliefs by examining exposure to a Russian state-run annual TV program with Vladimir Putin. By utilizing Russian individual-level survey data collected around the program’s air date from 2012 to 2019, we study the program’s impact on a wide range of outcomes, including personal well-being, trust in institutions, and democratic values. We find that propaganda poses a tradeoff: on the one hand, it strengthens the regime, by boosting trust in state agencies and the legal system and diminishing the perceived importance of free press, elections, and opposition. On the other hand, it triggers heightened anxiety about the present and future.
**When choosing the contribution to a public good, individual optimization (à la Nash) generally leads to suboptimal provision. Moral concerns in this type of game, allow for a correction of this under-provision. Kantian optimization, through the universalization of actions, allows agents to internalize their positive externality over others and recover optimality. In this paper, I study the impact of Kantian optimization on the political support of redistributive policies. Nashian and Kantian individuals choose distinct levels of public-good contributions given a redistributive policy, and these differences shape political preferences. The complementarity of private and public goods is a key parameter to understanding the impact of moral concerns on the political support of redistributive policies.