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Immigration, integration and terrorism: is there a clash of cultures?

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Abstract

We test whether immigrants are more prone to support terror than natives because of lower opportunity costs, using the international World Values Survey data. We show that, in general, economically, politically and socially non-integrated persons are more likely to accept using violence for achieving political goals, consistent with the economic model of crime. We also find evidence for the destructive effects of a ‘clash of cultures’: Immigrants in OECD countries who originate from more culturally distanced countries in Africa and Asia appear more likely to view using violence for political goals as justified. Most importantly, we find no evidence that the clashof-cultures effect is driven by Islam religion, which appears irrelevant to terror support. As robustness test we relate individual attitude to real-life behavior: using country panels of transnational terrorist attacks in OECD countries, we show that the population attitudes towards violence and terror determine the occurrence of terror incidents, as does the share of immigrants in the population. A further analysis shows a positive association of immigrants from Africa and Asia with transnational terror, while the majority religion Islam of the sending country does not appear to play a role. Again, we find that culture defined by geographic proximity dominates culture defined by religion.

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Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 182.

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Length: 69 pages
Date of creation: 20 Jan 2011
Date of revision: 20 Jan 2011
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:182

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Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
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Keywords: terror; terrorism; violence; conflict; immigration; culture; integration; crime;

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References

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  1. Nannestad, Peter, 2004. "Immigration as a challenge to the Danish welfare state?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 755-767, September.
  2. Justina AV Fischer, 2010. "Accounting for Unobserved Country Heterogeneity in Happiness Research: Country Fixed Effects versus Region Fixed Effects," CEIS Research Paper 164, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 28 May 2010.
  3. Robert MacCulloch & Silvia Pezzini, 2010. "The Roles of Freedom, Growth, and Religion in the Taste for Revolution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 329-358, 05.
  4. Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "Appeasing nihilists? Some economic thoughts on reducing terrorist activity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 301-313, December.
  5. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2008. "Long Term Persistence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6981, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  7. Bernholz, Peter, 2004. "Supreme values as the basis for terror," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 317-333, June.
  8. Alan B. Krueger & Jitka Maleckova, 2003. "Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 119-144, Fall.
  9. Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2009. "Government decentralization as a disincentive for transnational terror? An empirical analysis," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 313/2009, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  10. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  11. Frey, Bruno S. & Luechinger, Simon, 2004. "Decentralization as a disincentive for terror," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 509-515, June.
  12. Dreher, Axel & Gassebner, Martin, 2008. "Does political proximity to the U.S. cause terror?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 27-29, April.
  13. Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard & Mogens Justesen & Robert Klemmensen, 2006. "The political economy of freedom, democracy and transnational terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 289-315, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu & Sandler, Todd, 2014. "Immigration policy and counterterrorism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 112-123.

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