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Stopping Suicide Attacks: Optimal Strategies and Unintended Consequences

  • Michael McBride
  • Gary Richardson

Governments fighting terrorists have many tactical options, yet these options often yield unintended and counterproductive consequences. This paper models a terrorist organization, a religious group from which the terrorists recruit suicide bombers, and the society in which the terrotists are imbedded. The model illuminates how the choice of counterterrorist tactics influences the incidence of attacks, paying particular attention to the direct and indirect (unintended) consequences of the government's actions. The ultimate goal of this work is to identify the best way to stop terrorist attacks.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Defence and Peace Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 413-429

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Handle: RePEc:taf:defpea:v:23:y:2012:i:5:p:413-429
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  1. Berman, Eli & Laitin, David D., 2008. "Religion, terrorism and public goods: Testing the club model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1942-1967, October.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger, . "How to Fight Terrorism: Alternatives to Deterrence," IEW - Working Papers 137, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Laurence Iannaccone & Eli Berman, 2006. "Religious extremism: The good, the bad, and the deadly," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 109-129, July.
  4. Eli Berman, 2003. "Hamas, Taliban and the Jewish Underground: An Economist's View of Radical Religious Militias," NBER Working Papers 10004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Berrebi Claude, 2007. "Evidence about the Link Between Education, Poverty and Terrorism among Palestinians," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-38, December.
  6. Tilman Bruck, 2005. "An Economic Analysis Of Security Policies," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(5), pages 375-389.
  7. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-91, April.
  8. 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.
  9. Joao Ricardo Faria & Daniel Arce, 2005. "Terror Support And Recruitment," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 263-273.
  10. Sandler, Todd & Arce, Daniel G., 2007. "Terrorism: A Game-Theoretic Approach," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
  11. Claude Berrebi & Darius Lakdawalla, 2007. "How Does Terrorism Risk Vary Across Space And Time? An Analysis Based On The Israeli Experience," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 113-131.
  12. Daniel G. Arce & Todd Sandler, 2010. "Terrorist Spectaculars: Backlash Attacks and the Focus of Intelligence," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 54(2), pages 354-373, April.
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