The Day after the Bomb: Well-being Effects of Terrorist Attacks in Europe

23 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2019

See all articles by Emilio Colombo

Emilio Colombo

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan

Valentina Rotondi

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics

Luca Stanca

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics; Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS)

Date Written: July 17, 2019

Abstract

We study the non-monetary costs of the terrorist attacks occurred in France, Belgium and Germany between 2010 and 2017. Using four waves of the European Social Survey, we find that individuals’ well-being is significantly reduced in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. We explore possible mechanisms for this effect, finding that terrorist attacks determine a reduction in generalized trust, institutional trust, satisfaction with democracy and satisfaction with the government. Terrorist attacks are also found to increase negative attitudes towards migrants and perceived discrimination. However, contrary to expectations, the negative impact of terrorism on well-being is less strong for Muslim immigrants. We posit that this occurs because immigrants benefit more than natives from the institutional reaction following the attacks.

Keywords: Terrorism, Well-being, Happiness, Democracy, Trust

JEL Classification: H56, I31

Suggested Citation

Colombo, Emilio and Rotondi, Valentina and Stanca, Luca, The Day after the Bomb: Well-being Effects of Terrorist Attacks in Europe (July 17, 2019). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 416, July 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3421656 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3421656

Emilio Colombo

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

Largo Gemelli, 1
Via Necchi 9
Milan, MI 20123
Italy

Valentina Rotondi

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Luca Stanca (Contact Author)

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo, Nuovo I
Milan 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

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