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Suicide-bombing as inter-generational investment

  • Jean-Paul Azam


A simple model of terrorism is presented where the current generation is linked to the next one by some altruism, as in standard dynastic family models. Bombing today some target increases the probability of the benefit of some public good accruing to the next generation. The model is used to discuss the fact that suicide bombers, of the Hezbollah in particular, have been found by Krueger and Maleckova (2002) to come disproportionately from wealthy families, and have an above average education level. While the latter could be expected to increase the opportunity cost of investing in such a suicide, it is suggested that it probably increases also the sensitivity to the future generation’s welfare. The latter effect might offset the deterrent effect of the former. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 122 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 177-198

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:122:y:2005:i:1:p:177-198
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