Blood and Ink! The Common-Interest-Game Between Terrorists and the Media

23 Pages Posted: 11 May 2006  

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Dominic Rohner

University of Zurich

Date Written: April 2006

Abstract

It has often been pointed out in the literature that a symbiotic relationship exists between terrorist groups and the media. As yet, however, no formal model has been built based on this issue and only very little empirical research has been done in this field. The present contribution builds a simple game theoretic model, focussing on the social interactions between terrorists and the media. The model has features of a common-interest-game and results in multiple equilibria. After a discussion of the policy implications of the model, an empirical analysis is performed. Using newspaper coverage, terror incidents and terror fatalities data, it is shown that media attention and terrorism do mutually Granger cause each other, as predicted by the model. Moreover, it is explained why terror attacks tend to be "bloodier" in developing countries than in Europe and the United States.

Keywords: Terrorism, media, common-interest-game, coordination, conflict.

JEL Classification: C72, D74, H52, H77, J22

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S. and Rohner, Dominic, Blood and Ink! The Common-Interest-Game Between Terrorists and the Media (April 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=900353 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.900353

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
Switzerland
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

Dominic Rohner

University of Zurich ( email )

Muehlebachstrasse 86
Zurich, 8008
Switzerland

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