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

Hannes Mueller and Christopher Rauh ()

Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC) Working Papers from Empirical Studies of Conflict Project

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: Violence; Public Opinion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 F51 Z18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-for
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https://esoc.princeton.edu/publications/esoc-worki ... tical-violence-using

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:pri:esocpu:2

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