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Reading Between the Lines: Prediction of Political Violence Using Newspaper Text

Hannes Mueller and Christopher Rauh ()

Cambridge Working Papers in Economics from Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

Abstract: This article provides a new methodology to predict conflict by using newspaper text. Through machine learning, vast quantities of newspaper text are reduced to interpretable topic shares. We use changes in topic shares to predict conflict one and two years before it occurs. In our predictions we distinguish between predicting the likelihood of conflict across countries and the timing of conflict within each country. Most factors identified by the literature, though performing well at predicting the location of conflict, add little to the prediction of timing. We show that news topics indeed can predict the timing of conflict onset. We also use the estimated topic shares to document how reporting changes before conflict breaks out.

Keywords: Conflict; Forecasting; Machine Learning; Panel Data; Topic Models; Latent Dirichlet Allocation. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-05-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-for and nep-pol
Note: cr542
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http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe1630.pdf

Related works:
Journal Article: Reading Between the Lines: Prediction of Political Violence Using Newspaper Text (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Reading Between the Lines: Prediction of Political Violence Using Newspaper Text (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Reading Between the Lines: Prediction of Political Violence Using Newspaper Text (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Reading Between the Lines: Prediction of Political Violence Using Newspaper Text (2016) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cam:camdae:1630

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