Australian Political Economy Network

The Australian Political Economy Network brings together academic political economists across Australian universities. We aim to share ideas and pull resources together to support empirical and theoretical quantitative studies of politics and economics. The network organizes a yearly workshop in Political Economy to discuss the latest work of researchers in Australia and overseas. From 2020, the network launched a new Junior Political Economy Workshop to foster the visibility of PhD research in Political Economy in Australia.


First Seminar info:


Meeting Password: 830427

Time: Friday, 27 November 2020 - 14:00 AEST

Presenter 1: David Kreitmeir (Monash University)

Title: The Value of Names - Civil Society, Information, and Governing Multinationals on the Global Periphery (with Nathan Lane and Paul Raschky)

Abstract: Civil society is essential to governance, where laws and authority are weak. We study how a core strategy of international civil society groups—informing and publicizing human rights abuses—impacts those tied to abuse. Our study focuses on a major trend at the center of on-going international media campaigns: the assassination of civil society activists involved in mining activity. Collecting and coding 20 years of data on assassination events, we use Event Study Methodology to study how publicity of these events impact the asset prices of firms associated with abuse. We show that publicizing abuses has a significant impact on multinationals. Firm’s associated with an assassination have large, negative abnormal returns following the event; we calculate a median loss in market capitalisation of over 100 million USD, ten days following violence. We highlight the importance of publicity; we show negative returns are stronger during periods of low media pressure versus when assassinations coincide with competing newsworthy events. We find our results are driven by events where companies are explicitly named in coverage, versus events where they are unnamed but operating at the site of killings. Furthermore, we reject that results are driven by other forms of unrest and conflict. Last, we show activist assassinations are positively related to the royalties paid by firms to domestic governments.

Presenter 2: Rafat Mahmood (University of Western Australia)

Title: Gone with the wind: The consequences of US drone strikes in Pakistan (with Michael Jetter)

Abstract: We study the consequences of the 420 US drone strikes in Pakistan between 2006 and 2016. Our identification strategy exploits wind conditions that complicate the feasibility of drone strikes. Results suggest drone strikes encourage terrorism, causing up to 17.5 percent of all terror attacks in Pakistan or approximately 6,000 terror deaths. Distinguishing between reactions of insiders (terrorists) and outsiders (the Pakistani populace), we analyze (i) the sentiment of US-related coverage in a leading Pakistani newspaper, (ii) anti-US protests, and (iii) Google searches indicative of radicalization. Our findings suggest outsiders turn against the US and sympathize with insiders because of drone strikes.

In case you want to have a look at the upcoming seminars visit the OVERS website: