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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. 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.
  2. Jaeger, David A. & Paserman, Daniele, 2005. "The Cycle of Violence? An Empirical Analysis of Fatalities in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict," IZA Discussion Papers 1808, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jaeger, David A. & Paserman, Daniele, 2006. "Israel, the Palestinian Factions, and the Cycle of Violence," IZA Discussion Papers 1923, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. Jaeger, David A. & Paserman, Daniele, 2007. "The Shape of Things to Come? Assessing the Effectiveness of Suicide Attacks and Targeted Killings," IZA Discussion Papers 2890, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Jaeger, David A. & Klor, Esteban F. & Miaari, Sami H. & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2012. "The struggle for Palestinian hearts and minds: Violence and public opinion in the Second Intifada," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 354-368.
  8. Eli Berman & David D. Laitin, 2008. "Religion, Terrorism and Public Goods: Testing the Club Model," NBER Working Papers 13725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  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. Jaeger, David A & Klor, Esteban F & Miaari, Sami & Paserman, Marco Daniele, 2008. "The Struggle for Palestinian Hearts and Minds: Violence and Public Opinion in the Second Intifada," CEPR Discussion Papers 6793, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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