Politicians: Be Killed or Survive

39 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2008

See all articles by Bruno S. Frey

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Benno Torgler

Queensland University of Technology; CREMA; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2008


In the course of history, a large number of politicians have been assassinated. Rational choice hypotheses are developed and tested using panel data covering more than 100 countries over a period of 20 years. Several strategies, in addition to security measures, are shown to significantly reduce the probability of politicians being attacked or killed: extended institutional and governance quality, democracy, voice and accountability, a well functioning system of law and order, decentralization via the division of power and federalism, larger cabinet size and strengthened civil society. There is also support for a contagion effect.

Keywords: assassinations, rational choice, governance, democracy, dictatorship, deterrence, protection

JEL Classification: D01, D70, K14, K42, Z10

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S. and Torgler, Benno, Politicians: Be Killed or Survive (December 2008). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2483, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1313020

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)

CREMA ( email )

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University of Basel ( email )

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Benno Torgler

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

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Brisbane, Queensland 4001


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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

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