DP14780 The Gilets jaunes: Offline and Online

Author(s): Pierre Boyer, Thomas Delemotte, Germain Gauthier, Vincent Rollet, Benoit Schmutz
Publication Date: May 2020
Keyword(s): Gilets jaunes, Protests, social media, spatial inequalities, Yellow vests
JEL(s): C83, F15, J40, J60, J80
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14780

We study the Gilets jaunes movement, which blocked most of France off in November 2018. We first analyze the complementarity/substitutability between the different forms of mobilization and find that blockades were planned online and later reinforced online activism. Second, we do textual analysis and show that online discussions evolved from local concerns to widespread critique. Finally, while the Gilets jaunes refused to designate candidates for the subsequent European elections, we ask whether the movement had electoral consequences nonetheless. We show that blockades boosted the performance of the government's party in its bastions, except when they nurtured further online dissent.