IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Economic Cost of Harboring Terrorism

  • Efraim Benmelech

    (Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA,

  • Claude Berrebi

    (RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, USA)

  • Esteban F. Klor

    (Department of Economics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel)

The literature on conflict and terrorism has paid little attention to the economic costs of terrorism for the perpetrators. This article aims to fill that gap by examining the economic costs of harboring suicide terror attacks. Using data covering the universe of Palestinian suicide terrorists during the second Palestinian uprising, combined with data from the Palestinian Labor Force Survey, the authors identify and quantify the impact of a successful attack on unemployment and wages. They find robust evidence that terror attacks have important economic costs. The results suggest that a successful attack causes an increase of 5.3 percent in unemployment, increases the likelihood that the district’s average wages fall in the quarter following an attack by more than 20.0 percent, and reduces the number of Palestinians working in Israel by 6.7 percent relative to its mean. Importantly, these effects are persistent and last for at least six months after the attack.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Peace Science Society (International) in its journal Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Volume (Year): 54 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 331-353

in new window

Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:54:y:2010:i:2:p:331-353
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Alberto Abadie, 2004. "Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism," NBER Working Papers 10859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eckstein, Zvi & Tsiddon, Daniel, 2004. "Macroeconomic Consequences of Terror: Theory and the Case of Israel," CEPR Discussion Papers 4427, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Benmelech, Efraim & Berrebi, Claude & Klor, Esteban F, 2010. "Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism," CEPR Discussion Papers 7995, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Hartog,Joop & Maassen van den Brink,Henriëtte (ed.), 2007. "Human Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521873161, November.
  6. Abadie, Alberto & Gardeazabal, Javier, 2008. "Terrorism and the world economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-27, January.
  7. Jones, Benjamin & Olken, Benjamin, 2007. "Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War," CEPR Discussion Papers 6298, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Eric D. Gould & Esteban F. Klor, 2010. "Does Terrorism Work?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1459-1510.
  9. 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.
  10. David A. Jaeger & Esteban F. Klor & Sami H. Miaari & M. Daniele Paserman, 2008. "The Struggle for Palestinian Hearts and Minds: Violence and Public Opinion in the Second Intifada," NBER Working Papers 13956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2008. "The Impact of Terrorism on the Defense Industry," Working Papers 597, RAND Corporation.
  12. Khusrav Gaibulloev & Todd Sandler, 2009. "The Impact Of Terrorism And Conflicts On Growth In Asia," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 359-383, November.
  13. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864.
  14. B. Peter Rosendorff & Todd Sandler, 2004. "Too Much of a Good Thing?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 48(5), pages 657-671, October.
  15. Eli Berman, 1998. "Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," NBER Working Papers 6715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Arye Hillman, 2007. "Economic and security consequences of supreme values," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 259-280, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:54:y:2010:i:2:p:331-353. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publishing)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.