Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism
Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
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
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
Date posted: March 26, 2009 ; Last revised: February 25, 2010
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