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Global Security Policies Against Terrorism and the Free Riding Problem: An Experimental Approach

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  • Nathalie Colombier
  • David Masclet
  • Daniel Mirza
  • Claude Montmarquette

Abstract

The World Trade Center attack has shed light on the urgent need to implement preventing measures against terrorism and to enhance cooperation in the global security system for all countries. However, international coordination cannot be taken for granted. It is often ineffective and likely to fail for several reasons. Perhaps the more prominent reason to explain failure in coordination is that collective actions against terrorism may suffer from the well known free riding problem (Sandler and Enders, 2004). In this paper we experimentally investigate cooperation dilemma in counterterrorism policies by measuring to what extent international deterrence policy may suffer from free riding. In our game, contributions to the group account do not aim to increase the production of the public good but instead seek to decrease the probability that a stochastic event destroys the good. A country could choose to free ride by investing nothing in the international deterrence policy and instead invest all its resources in its own national protection or even choose to ignore totally terrorism by investing on alternative projects. We also look at the effects of institutions that allow sanctioning and rewarding of other countries to facilitate coordination on deterrence policy. We find that, in absence of institutional incentives and after controlling for risk aversion, most of countries defect by investing very weakly in collective actions against terrorism while largely investing to protect themselves. In contrast, the introduction of punishment/reward incentive systems improves significantly the contribution level to the collective security account. L'attentat qui a frappé le World Trade Center a fait la lumière sur l'urgence de mettre en uvre des mesures préventives contre le terrorisme et d'améliorer la collaboration au sein du système de sécurité mondial en faisant intervenir tous les pays. Toutefois, on ne peut tenir la coordination internationale pour acquise car elle est so
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  • Nathalie Colombier & David Masclet & Daniel Mirza & Claude Montmarquette, 2009. "Global Security Policies Against Terrorism and the Free Riding Problem: An Experimental Approach," CIRANO Working Papers 2009s-44, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2009s-44
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Arce & Sneha Bakshi & Rachel Croson & Catherine Eckel & Enrique Fatas & Malcolm Kass, 2011. "Counterterrorism strategies in the lab," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 465-478, December.
    2. Malcolm Kass & Enrique Fatas & Catherine Eckel & Daniel Arce, 2015. "The UN in the lab," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(3), pages 625-651, October.
    3. Yan, Jubo & Kniffin, Kevin M. & Kunreuther, Howard C. & Schulze, William D., 2020. "The roles of reason and emotion in private and public responses to terrorism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 778-796.
    4. Gautam Gupta, 2019. "Experiments in Economics: A Survey," Studies in Microeconomics, , vol. 7(1), pages 89-109, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Design of experiments; experimental economics; terrorism; conflicts; public economics.; Structure des expériences; économie expérimentale; terrorisme; conflits; économie du secteur public.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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