Tarek Hassan: The Power of the Street

The Power of the Street: Evidence from Egypt’s Arab Spring

 

During Egypt's Arab Spring, unprecedented popular mobilization and protests brought down Hosni Mubarak’s government and ushered in an era of competition among three groups: elites associated with Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP), the military, and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. Street protests continued to play an important role during this power struggle. In a talk to MBA students, Tarek Hassan discussed his work arguing that these protests are associated with differential stock market returns for firms connected to the three groups; furthermore, he argues that activity on social media may have played an important role in mobilizing protesters, but did not have the same effect on markets that in-person protests did. According to his preferred interpretation, these events provide evidence that, under weak institutions, popular mobilization and protests have a role in moving and disrupting the marketplace. Hassan is associate professor of finance and economics and Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow in the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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