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Terrorismus und internationaler Handel: Probleme und Ergebnisse empirischer Untersuchungen


  • Volker Nitsch


This short essay discusses the costs of terrorism on international trade. While there is little disagreement that insecurity and violence are often serious impediments to economic activity, the effects of terrorism have been discussed extensively in the recent literature. Terrorist attacks are often isolated events; they rarely aim to cause direct destruction; they use a broad range of methods. However, when examining (and quantifying) the effects of terrorism on trade, a broad variety of methodological problems emerge. Potential issues range from gathering and codifying data on terrorist activity to problems of endogeneity. In view of these difficulties in econometric analysis, it is remarkable that a number of studies with varying research designs consistently find a significant negative relationship between terrorism and international trade. In diesem kurzen Aufsatz werden die Kosten des Terrors für den internationalen Handel diskutiert. Unstrittig ist, dass Unsicherheit und Gewalt die wirtschaftliche Aktivität lähmen können. Ob auch terroristische Aktionen, die häufig isolierte Ereignisse darstellen, selten auf direkte Zerstörung zielen und sich einer Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen Methoden bedienen, die Wirtschaftsaktivität spürbar beeinflussen, ist zuletzt zum Gegenstand zahlreicher Untersuchungen geworden. Bei der Identifikation (und insbesondere der Quantifizierung) der Auswirkungen von Terrorismus auf den Handel treten allerdings eine Reihe methodischer Probleme auf; die Bandbreite der Schwierigkeiten reicht von der Erfassung und Kodifizierung terroristischer Aktivitäten bis hin zu möglichen Endogenitätsproblemen. Vor dem Hintergrund dieser ökonometrischen Schätzprobleme scheint es bemerkenswert, dass eine Reihe von Studien mit unterschiedlichem Untersuchungsdesign einen signifikanten negativen Zusammenhang zwischen Terrorismus und Handel dokumentieren.

Suggested Citation

  • Volker Nitsch, 2009. "Terrorismus und internationaler Handel: Probleme und Ergebnisse empirischer Untersuchungen," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 78(4), pages 41-50.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:78-4-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2009. "Bonus vetus OLS: A simple method for approximating international trade-cost effects using the gravity equation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 77-85, February.
    2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    3. Boriss Siliverstovs & Dieter Schumacher, 2009. "Estimating gravity equations: to log or not to log?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 645-669, June.
    4. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
    5. Efraim Benmelech & Claude Berrebi, 2007. "Human Capital and the Productivity of Suicide Bombers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 223-238, Summer.
    6. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 2002. "Insecurity And The Pattern Of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 342-352, May.
    7. Nitsch, Volker & Schumacher, Dieter, 2004. "Terrorism and international trade: an empirical investigation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 423-433, June.
    8. S. Brock Blomberg & Gregory D. Hess, 2006. "How Much Does Violence Tax Trade?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 599-612, November.
    9. 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.
    10. Alan B. Krueger, 2007. "Introduction to What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism," Introductory Chapters,in: What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism Princeton University Press.
    11. Michele Fratianni & Heejoon Kang, 2006. "International Terrorism, International Trade, and Borders," Working Papers 2006-13, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
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    More about this item


    Terrorism; conflict; trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General


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