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Can Militants Use Violence to Win Public Support? Evidence from the Second Intifada

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Author Info

  • M. Daniele Paserman

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Boston University, NBER, CEPR and IZA)

  • Esteban F. Klor

    (Department of Economics, Hebrew University and CEPR)

  • Sami H. Miaari

    ()
    (University of Haifa and DIW)

Abstract

This paper investigates whether attacks against Israeli targets help Palestinian factions gain public support. We link individual level survey data to the full list of Israeli fatalities during the period of the Second Intifada (2000-2006), and estimate a flexible discrete choice model for faction supported. We find some support for the “outbidding” hypothesis, the notion that Palestinian factions use violence to gain prestige and influence public opinion within the community. In particular, the two leading Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, gain in popularity following successful attacks against Israeli targets. Our results suggest, however, that most movement occurs within either the secular groups or within the Islamist groups, but not between them. That is, Fatah’s gains come at the expense of smaller secular factions while Hamas’ gains come at the expense of smaller Islamic factions and the disaffected. In contrast, attacks by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad lower support for that faction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2011-046.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2011-046

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Keywords: Factions’ strategies; outbidding; political preferences.;

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References

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  1. David A. Jaeger & M. Daniele Paserman, 2007. "The Shape of Things to Come? Assessing the Effectiveness of Suicide Attacks and Targeted Killings," Working Papers 54, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  2. M. Daniele Paserman & Esteban F. Klor & Sami H. Miaari & David A. Jaeger, 2011. "The struggle for Palestinian hearts and minds: Violence and public opinion in the Second Intifada," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-047, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  3. David A. Jaeger & M. Daniele Paserman, 2005. "The Cycle of Violence? An Empirical Analysis of Fatalities in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict," Working Papers 22, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  4. Eric D. Gould & Esteban F. Klor, 2010. "Does Terrorism Work?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1459-1510, November.
  5. David A. Jaeger & M. Daniele Paserman, 2005. "Israel, the Palestinian Factions, and the Cycle of Violence," Working Papers 23, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  6. Kydd, Andrew & Walter, Barbara F., 2002. "Sabotaging the Peace: The Politics of Extremist Violence," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 263-296, March.
  7. Jaeger, David A. & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2009. "The Shape of Things to Come? On the Dynamics of Suicide Attacks and Targeted Killings," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 4(4), pages 315-342, December.
  8. Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Weerapana, Akila, 2004. "Economic conditions and terrorism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 463-478, June.
  9. Efraim Benmelech & Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2010. "The Economic Cost of Harboring Terrorism," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 54(2), pages 331-353, April.
  10. Berman, Eli & Laitin, David D., 2008. "Religion, terrorism and public goods: Testing the club model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1942-1967, October.
  11. Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2008. "Are Voters Sensitive to Terrorism?: Direct Evidence from the Israeli Electorate," Working Papers 477-1, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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Cited by:
  1. David A. Jaeger & Esteban F. Klor & Sami H. Miaari & M. Daniele Paserman, 2008. "The Struggle for Palestinian Hearts and Minds: Violence and Public Opinion in the Second Intifada," NBER Working Papers 13956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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