Police Repression and Protest Behavior: Evidence from Student Protests in Chile
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Police repression is common in street protests but evidence about its impact is limited. We study the protest behavior of people linked to a student killed by a stray bullet coming from a policeman during a large protest. We use administrative data to follow his schoolmates and those living nearby in hundreds of protest and non-protest days. We find that repression causes a temporary deterrence effect but only on students with social links to the victim. Moreover, police repression increased adherence to a student-led boycott and had negative educational consequences, casting doubt on its effectiveness as a policy of deterrence.