Information Operations Increase Civilian Security Cooperation

60 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2019 Last revised: 5 Apr 2021

See all articles by Konstantin Sonin

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy; Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Austin L. Wright

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Date Written: April 2, 2021

Abstract

Information operations are considered a central element of modern warfare and counterinsurgency, yet there remains little systematic evidence of their effectiveness. Using a geographic quasi-experiment conducted during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, we demonstrate that civilians exposed to the government’s information campaign resulted in more civilian security cooperation, which in turn increased bomb neutralizations. These results are robust to a number of alternative model specifications that account for troop presence, patrol-based operations, and local military aid allocation as well as a series of novel placebo tests and latent radio signal propagation approaches. The paper demonstrates that information campaigns can lead to substantive attitudinal and behavioral changes in an adversarial environment and substantially improve battlefield outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Sonin, Konstantin and Wright, Austin L., Information Operations Increase Civilian Security Cooperation (April 2, 2021). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2019-130, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3473421 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3473421

Konstantin Sonin (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Higher School of Economics ( email )

20 Myasnitskaya street
Moscow, 119017
Russia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Austin L. Wright

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1307 E 60th St
Chicago, IL IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.austinlwright.com

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