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The Effect of Migration on Terror - Made at Home or Imported from Abroad?

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  • Axel Dreher
  • Martin Gassebner
  • Paul Schaudt

Abstract

We analyze the causal effect of the stock of foreigners residing in a country on the probability of a terrorist attack in that country. Our instrument for the stock of foreigners relies on the interactions of two sets of variables. Variation across host-origin-dyads results from structural characteristics between the country of origin and the host, while variation over time makes use of changes in push and pull factors between host and origin countries resulting from natural disasters. Using data for 20 OECD host countries and 183 countries of origin over the 1980- 2010 period we show that the probability of a terrorist attack increases with a larger number of foreigners living in a country. However, this scale effect is not larger than the effect domestic populations have on domestic terror. We find scarce evidence that terror is systematically imported from countries with large Muslim populations or countries where terror prevails. Policies that exclude foreigners already living in a country increase rather than reduce the risk that foreign populations turn violent, and so do terrorist attacks against foreigners in their host country. High skilled migrants are associated with a significantly lower risk of terror compared to low skilled ones, while there is no significant difference between male and female migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Dreher & Martin Gassebner & Paul Schaudt, 2017. "The Effect of Migration on Terror - Made at Home or Imported from Abroad?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6441, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6441
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      by Tyler Cowen in Marginal Revolution on 2017-05-02 20:56:14

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    1. Tobias Böhmelt & Vincenzo Bove, 2020. "Does cultural proximity contain terrorism diffusion?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 57(2), pages 251-264, March.
    2. Böhmelt, Tobias & Bove, Vincenzo, 2017. "How Migration Policies Moderate the Diffusion of Terrorism," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 349, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    3. Khusrav Gaibulloev & Todd Sandler, 2023. "Common myths of terrorism," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 271-301, April.
    4. Brodeur, Abel & Wright, Taylor, 2019. "Terrorism, immigration and asylum approval," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 119-131.
    5. Dreher, Axel & Fuchs, Andreas & Langlotz, Sarah, 2019. "The effects of foreign aid on refugee flows," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 127-147.
    6. Robert Falconer, 2022. "Canadian Immigration Policy and the Russo-Ukraine War," SPP Research Papers, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, vol. 15(23), August.
    7. Tobias Böhmelt & Vincenzo Bove & Enzo Nussio, 2020. "Can Terrorism Abroad Influence Migration Attitudes at Home?," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 64(3), pages 437-451, July.
    8. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr & Arthur Sweetman, 2020. "An introduction to the economics of immigration in OECD countries," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1365-1403, November.
    9. Krieger, Tim, 2020. "Migration and terrorism," Discussion Paper Series 2020-06, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.
    10. Birkholz, Carlo & Gomtsyan, David, 2023. "Immigrant religious practices and criminality: The case of Ramadan," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 90-104.
    11. Helbling, Marc & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2022. "Terrorism and Migration: An Overview," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 60(2), pages 977-996.
    12. Ebert, Cara & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2022. "Girls unwanted – The role of parents’ child-specific sex preference for children’s early mental development," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    terrorism; migration; migration policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F52 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism
    • P48 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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