On Terrorism and Electoral Outcomes: Theory and Evidence from the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

50 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2004

See all articles by Claude Berrebi

Claude Berrebi

RAND Corporation; Hebrew University - The Federmann School of Public Policy and Government; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; Princeton University - Department of Economics; RAND Corporation - Labor and Population Studies

Esteban F. Klor

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

Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

This paper investigates the interaction between terror attacks and electoral outcomes in Israel. We analyze a dynamic model of reputation that captures the salient characteristics of this conflict. The equilibrium of the theoretical model generates two precise empirical predictions about the interaction between terrorism and electoral outcomes. First, we expect the relative support for the right-wing party to increase after periods with high levels of terrorism and to decrease after periods of relative calm. Second, the expected level of terrorism is higher when the left-wing party is in office than it is during the term of the right-wing party. We test these hypotheses by using a newly created data set on terrorist attacks in Israel between 1990 and 2003. The first hypothesis is strongly supported by data culled from public opinion polls about the Israeli electorate's political preferences. We use event study methods and likelihood ratio tests to evaluate the second hypothesis, since electoral outcomes are endogenous to the level of terror attacks. The results support our theoretical prediction for the three Israeli governments to which the theory can be applied that served during the studied time period, i.e., terror attacks escalated when left-wing governments served and decreased during the terms in office of right-wing governments.

Keywords: Terrorism, electoral outcomes

JEL Classification: D7, N4

Suggested Citation

Berrebi, Claude and Klor, Esteban F., On Terrorism and Electoral Outcomes: Theory and Evidence from the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (July 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=487202 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.487202

Claude Berrebi

RAND Corporation ( email )

Santa Monica, CA
310-393-0411 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rand.org/about/people/b/berrebi_claude.html

Hebrew University - The Federmann School of Public Policy and Government

Hebrew University
Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 951477
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ucla.edu/people/Faculty/Berrebi.html

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Industrial Relations Section
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-4777 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~cberrebi

RAND Corporation - Labor and Population Studies ( email )

1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA
United States
310-393-0411 (Phone)

Esteban F. Klor (Contact Author)

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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