"Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't": Mimicking behaviour of growth-oriented terrorist organizations
AbstractThis paper examines the interaction between a growth-oriented terrorist organization and an uninformed government based on a two-period signaling game. The terrorists, taking into account the government's counter-terrorism response to first period attacks, gain additional manpower from successful attacks and choose their strategy to maximize the available manpower at the end of period 2. The government tries to infer the terrorist organization's size from the terrorists' attack choice it observes in period 1 and adjusts its second period counter-terrorism spending according to the perceived threat of terrorism. Combining the signaling game and organizational growth approaches of previous contributions, this paper shows that, if a terrorist group follows a growth strategy, it has an incentive to appear weaker than it is by mimicking the behaviour of a smaller organization. Furthermore, depending on its beliefs about the extent of the terrorist threat it can be optimal for a government to spend more on second period counter-terrorism measures if it is not attacked than if it were attacked. The behaviour of contemporary terrorist groups suggests that the assumptions of a growth strategy and mimicking behaviour are justified.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 13998.
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
terrorism; counter-terrorism; game theory;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2004.
"Calculating Tragedy: Assessing the Costs of Terrorism,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
1341, CESifo Group Munich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2007. "Calculating Tragedy: Assessing The Costs Of Terrorism," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 1-24, 02.
- Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Calculating Tragedy: Assessing the Costs of Terrorism," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-23, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, . "Calculating Tragedy: Assessing the Costs of Terrorism," IEW - Working Papers 205, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2004.
"Who Is the Enemy?,"
IZA Discussion Papers
1237, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Bruno S. Frey & Dominic Rohner, 2006.
"Blood and Ink! The Common-Interest-Game Between Terrorists and the Media,"
CREMA Working Paper Series
2006-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Dominic Rohner & Bruno Frey, 2007. "Blood and ink! The common-interest-game between terrorists and the media," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 129-145, October.
- Bruno S. Frey & Dominik Rohner, 2006. "Blood and Ink! The Common-Interest-GameBetween Terrorists and the Media," IEW - Working Papers 285, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bernholz, Peter, 2004. "Supreme values as the basis for terror," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 317-333, June.
- Lapan, Harvey E. & Sandler, Todd, 1993.
"Terrorism and signalling,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 383-397, August.
- Jonathan S. Feinstein & Edward H. Kaplan, 2010. "Analysis of a Strategic Terror Organization," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 54(2), pages 281-302, April.
- Gould, Eric D. & Klor, Esteban F., 2009.
"Does Terrorism Work?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
7589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- R. Coats & Gökhan Karahan & Robert Tollison, 2006. "Terrorism and pork-barrel spending," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 275-287, July.
- Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Orphanides, Athanasios, 2004.
"The macroeconomic consequences of terrorism,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1007-1032, July.
- Gary S. Becker & Yona Rubinstein, 2011. "Fear and the Response to Terrorism: An Economic Analysis," CEP Discussion Papers dp1079, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Kai A. Konrad, 2004. "The Investment Problem in Terrorism," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(283), pages 449-459, 08.
- Mirza, Daniel & Verdier, Thierry, 2008. "International trade, security and transnational terrorism: Theory and a survey of empirics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 179-194, June.
- Golany, Boaz & Kaplan, Edward H. & Marmur, Abraham & Rothblum, Uriel G., 2009. "Nature plays with dice - terrorists do not: Allocating resources to counter strategic versus probabilistic risks," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 192(1), pages 198-208, January.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alexandra Frank).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.