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The Origins of Terrorism: Cross-Country Estimates on Socio-economic Determinants of Terrorism

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  • Andreas Freytag
  • Jens J. Krüger
  • Daniel Meierrieks

Abstract

As a prerequisite of an appropriate anti-terror strategy, it is indispensable to assess the underlying causes of terror. We examine social and economic conditions in the country of origin of terrorist attacks, claiming that low opportunity costs of terror, e.g., approximated by slow growth and poor institutions raise the likelihood of terror and the willingness in the population to support terror. Using a negative binomial regression model, we are able to show that unfortunate socio-economic conditions in a country are likely to reduce the opportunity costs of potential terrorists and increase the number of terrorist attacks originating from a specific country. Interestingly, this effect is particularly relevant after a certain level of development has been reached. We therefore distinguish between several broad country groups, namely the OECD, Europe and Islamic countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Economics of Security Working Paper Series with number 27.

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Length: 24 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diweos:diweos27

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Keywords: terror attacks; openness; discrete choice analysis; institutions;

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References

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  1. Mark Harrison, 2006. "An Economist Looks at Suicide Terrorism," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 7(3), pages 1-15, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Caruso, Raul & Schneider, Friedrich, 2011. "The socio-economic determinants of terrorism and political violence in Western Europe (1994–2007)," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(S1), pages S37-S49.
  2. Muhammad, Shahbaz & Muhammad, Nasir Malik & Muhammad, Shahbaz Shabbir, 2011. "Does economic growth cause terrorism in Pakistan?," MPRA Paper 35101, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Nov 2011.
  3. Shahbaz, Muhammad & Shabbir, Muhammad Shahbaz & Malik, Muhammad Nasir & Wolters, Mark Edward, 2013. "An analysis of a causal relationship between economic growth and terrorism in Pakistan," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 21-29.
  4. Kis-Katos, Krisztina & Liebert, Helge & Schulze, Günther G., 2012. "On the Heterogeneity of Terror," IZA Discussion Papers 6596, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Firat Bilgel & Burhan Can Karahasan, 2013. "“The Economic Costs of Separatist Terrorism in Turkey”," IREA Working Papers 201322, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Nov 2013.
  6. Krieger, Tim & Brockhoff, Sarah & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2012. "Great Expectations and Hard Times The (Nontrivial) Impact of Education on Domestic Terrorism," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62083, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  7. Schneider, Friedrich, 2010. "The (Hidden) Financial Flows of Terrorist and Organized Crime Organizations: A Literature Review and Some Preliminary Empirical Results," IZA Discussion Papers 4860, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Shahbaz, Muhammad & Shabbir, Shahbaz Muhammad, 2011. "Is hike in inflation responsible for rise in terrorism in Pakistan?," MPRA Paper 31236, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 29 May 2011.
  9. Sarah Brockhoff & Tim Krieger & Daniel Meierrieks, 2012. "Looking Back on Anger: Explaining the Social Origins of Left-Wing and Nationalist-Separatist Terrorism in Western Europe, 1970-2007," Working Papers 49, University of Paderborn, CIE Center for International Economics.
  10. Dorsett, Richard, 2013. "The effect of the Troubles on GDP in Northern Ireland," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 119-133.
  11. Caruso, Raul, 2008. "Al Qaeda as a Tournament: Empirical Evidence," MPRA Paper 11693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Friedrich Schneider & Raul Caruso, 2011. "The (Hidden) Financial Flows of Terrorist and Transnational Crime Organizations: A Literature Review and Some Preliminary Empirical Results," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 52, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  13. repec:aqr:wpaper:201314 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Caruso, Raul & Schneider, Friedrich, 2009. "Al Qaeda and Jihadist Terrorism in the Light of Contest Theory, Empirical Evidence for the period 2004-2008," MPRA Paper 15856, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Michael Brzoska & Raphael Bossong & Eric van Um, 2011. "Security Economics in the European Context: Implications of the EUSECON Project," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 58, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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