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Why Kill Politicians? A Rational Choice Analysis of Political Assassinations

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  • Bruno S. Frey

Abstract

In the course of history a large number of politicians has been assassinated. A rational choice analysis is used to distinguish the expected marginal benefits of killing, and the marginal cost of attacking a politician. The comparative analysis of various equilibria helps us to gain insights into specific historical events. The analysis suggests that ? in addition to well-known security measures ? an extension of democracy, a rule by a committee of several politicians, more decentralization via the division of power and federalism, and a strengthening of civil society significantly reduce politicians? probability of being attacked and killed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2007-08.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2007-08

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Keywords: Rational choice; democracy; dictatorship; assassination; deterrence;

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  1. von Hagen, Jurgen & Wolff, Guntram B., 2006. "What do deficits tell us about debt? Empirical evidence on creative accounting with fiscal rules in the EU," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 3259-3279, December.
  2. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction, And Growth: Evidence From India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 389-430, May.
  3. Cameron, Samuel, 1988. "The Economics of Crime Deterrence: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 301-23.
  4. Dafflon, Bernard & Rossi, Sergio, 1999. " Public Accounting Fudges towards EMU: A First Empirical Survey and Some Public Choice Considerations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 101(1-2), pages 59-84, October.
  5. Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 6355.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521616508 is not listed on IDEAS
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Violence in politics
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2010-11-12 12:31:01
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Cited by:
  1. Benno Torgler & Bruno Frey, 2013. "Politicians: be killed or survive," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 357-386, July.

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