Does Terrorism Work?

63 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2010

See all articles by Eric D. Gould

Eric D. Gould

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

Esteban F. Klor

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2009

Abstract

This paper examines whether terrorism is an effective tool to achieve political goals. By exploiting variation in terror attacks over time and across locations in Israel from 1988 to 2006, we show that local terror attacks cause Israelis to be: (i) more willing to grant territorial concessions to the Palestinians; (ii) more willing to accept a Palestinian state; (iii) and less likely to identify oneself as being right-wing. These effects are especially pronounced within demographic groups that are traditionally right-wing in their political views. However, terror attacks beyond a certain threshold are less effective, and may reach levels which cause Israelis to adopt a less-accommodating position. In addition, we show that terror induces Israelis to vote increasingly for right-wing parties, as the right-wing parties move to the left in response to terror. Hence, terrorism appears to be an effective strategy in terms of shifting the entire Israeli political landscape to the left. These findings may shed light on the causes underlying the spread of global terrorism in the last few decades.

Keywords: Political Views, Terrorism

JEL Classification: D72, D74

Suggested Citation

Gould, Eric D. and Klor, Esteban F., Does Terrorism Work? (December 2009). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7589. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1533194

Eric D. Gould (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3247 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: https://sites.google.com/site/edgould

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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 )

London
United Kingdom

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