The Socio-Economic Determinants of Terrorism and Political Violence in Western Europe (1994-2007)
26 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 18, 2010
The main objective of this paper is to empirically investigate the socio-economic causes of terrorism and political violence in a sample of 12 countries in Western Europe. Results are mixed. First, we show that in western European countries the classical economic argument of opportunity cost can be confirmed. That is, the larger is the set of economic opportunities for an individual the lower is the likelihood or the willingness for him to be involved in a terrorist activity. Second and, however, in line with modernization theory, expected future economic growth seems to be associated with an increase in current terrorist activities. Eventually, our results also show that terrorist brutality (measured in people killed) is explained following the productivity argument. That is, the number of terrorist casualties is positively associated with real GDP per capita.
Keywords: Terrorism, Political Violence, Economic Deprivation, Productivity of Violence
JEL Classification: D72, D74, J49, D8, D62, H4
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