Government Informational Strategies Regarding Terrorism
Scholars and laymen assert that media attention is an important element in both an individual terrorist incident and in the ongoing struggle against terrorists. Thus far, economists' only concrete policy recommendation is that governments should maximize media coverage of negotiations in order to trade zero cost media attention for expensive ransom (Islam and Shahin, 1989). This policy recommendation is supported by work that suggests that media attention does not encourage future terrorism (Nelson and Scott, 1992). We apply the technique of Granger causality to a more complete data set than previous researchers have used. We find that media attention Granger causes terrorism. Our results temper the conclusions of earlier work, bringing the prescription of maximizing media attention into question.
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