IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/defpea/v23y2012i3p251-272.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Decision processes of a suicide bomber—the economics and psychology of attacking and defecting

Author

Listed:
  • Karen Pittel
  • Dirk T.G. Rübbelke

Abstract

This paper provides a theoretical analysis of suicide attacks and defection. First, decision processes of potential attackers are examined from an economist’s perspective. The results are then applied to insights from behavioural economics and psychology. We derive conditions under which agents decide to become suicide bombers—or to announce an attack and defect later. Taking account of hyperbolic discounting we show why the decision to commit a suicide attack can be time-inconsistent and what internal manipulation mechanisms (arising from cognitive dissonance and terror management) and external manipulation mechanisms (employed by terrorist organizations and governments) might prevent or foster time-inconsistency.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen Pittel & Dirk T.G. Rübbelke, 2012. "Decision processes of a suicide bomber—the economics and psychology of attacking and defecting," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 251-272, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:defpea:v:23:y:2012:i:3:p:251-272
    DOI: 10.1080/10242694.2011.585817
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/10242694.2011.585817
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2012. "Estimating Time Preferences from Convex Budgets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3333-3356, December.
    2. Eli Berman & David Laitin, 2005. "Hard Targets: Theory and Evidence on Suicide Attacks," NBER Working Papers 11740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Efraim Benmelech & Claude Berrebi & Esteban Klor, 2010. "Counter-Suicide-Terrorism: Evidence from House Demolitions," NBER Working Papers 16493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Andra Filote & Niklas Potrafke & Heinrich Ursprung, 2016. "Suicide attacks and religious cleavages," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 3-28, January.
    2. João Ricardo Faria & Daniel Arce, 2012. "Counterterrorism And Its Impact On Terror Support And Recruitment: Accounting For Backlash," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 431-445, October.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:defpea:v:23:y:2012:i:3:p:251-272. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/GDPE20 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.