Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1367828
 
 

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Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism


Effi Benmelech


Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Claude Berrebi


RAND Corporation; Hebrew University - The Federmann School of Public Policy and Government; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; Princeton University - Department of Economics; RAND Corporation - Labor and Population Studies

Esteban F. Klor


Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

February 1, 2010


Abstract:     
We analyze the link between economic conditions and the quality of suicide terrorism. While the existing empirical literature shows that poverty and economic conditions are not correlated with the quantity of terror, theory predicts that poverty and poor economic conditions may affect the quality of terror. Poor economic conditions may lead more able, better-educated individuals to participate in terror attacks, allowing terror organizations to send better-qualified terrorists to more complex, higher-impact, terror missions. Using the universe of Palestinian suicide terrorists against Israeli targets between the years 2000 and 2006 we provide evidence on the correlation between economic conditions, the characteristics of suicide terrorists and the targets they attack. High levels of unemployment enable terror organizations to recruit more educated, mature and experienced suicide terrorists who in turn attack more important Israeli targets.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: Quantity and Quality of Terrorism, Economic Conditions, Suicide Terrorists

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Date posted: March 26, 2009 ; Last revised: February 25, 2010

Suggested Citation

Benmelech, Effi and Berrebi, Claude and Klor, Esteban F., Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism (February 1, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1367828 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1367828

Contact Information

Efraim Benmelech (Contact Author)
Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )
Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4787 (Phone)
617-495-8570 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Claude Berrebi
RAND Corporation ( email )
Santa Monica, CA
310-393-0411 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.rand.org/about/people/b/berrebi_claude.html
Hebrew University - The Federmann School of Public Policy and Government
Hebrew University
Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )
Box 951477
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ucla.edu/people/Faculty/Berrebi.html
Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )
Industrial Relations Section
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-4777 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~cberrebi
RAND Corporation - Labor and Population Studies ( email )
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA
United States
310-393-0411 (Phone)
Esteban F. Klor
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )
Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3143 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/klor/klor.htm
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
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