The Socio-Economic Determinants of Terrorism and Political Violence in Western Europe (1994-2007)

26 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2010

See all articles by Raul Caruso

Raul Caruso

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan

Friedrich Schneider

Johannes Kepler University Linz - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: October 18, 2010

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Caruso, Raul and Schneider, Friedrich G., The Socio-Economic Determinants of Terrorism and Political Violence in Western Europe (1994-2007) (October 18, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1693876 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1693876

Raul Caruso (Contact Author)

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

20123 Milano
Italy

Friedrich G. Schneider

Johannes Kepler University Linz - Department of Economics ( email )

Altenbergerstrasse 69
A-4040 Linz, 4040
Austria
+43 732 2468 8210 (Phone)
+43 732 2468 8208 (Fax)

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

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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

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