Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?
The paper investigates whether there is a connection between poverty or low education and terrorism. We review evidence on hate crimes, which are closely related to terrorism; the occurrence of hate crimes is largely independent of economic conditions. We analyze data on support for attacks against Israeli targets from public opinion polls conducted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; support for violent attacks does not decrease among those with higher education and higher living standards. The core contribution of the paper is a statistical analysis of the determinants of participation in Hezbollah militant activities; having a living standard above the poverty line or a secondary or higher education is positively associated with participation in Hezbollah. We also find that Israeli Jewish settlers who attacked Palestinians in the West Bank in the early 1980s were overwhelmingly from high-paying occupations. Although our results are tentative and exploratory, they suggest that neither poverty nor education has a direct, causal impact on terrorism.
Volume (Year): 17 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
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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.:
- Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
- Claude Berrebi, 2003. "Evidence About the Link Between Education, Poverty and Terrorism Among Palestinians," Working Papers 856, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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