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

Author

Listed:
  • Dreher, Axel
  • Gassebner, Martin
  • Schaudt, Paul

Abstract

We investigate whether the stock of foreigners residing in a country leads to a larger number of terrorist attacks on that country. Our instrument for the stock of foreigners relies on the interaction 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. Controlling for the levels of these variables themselves and fixed effects for dyads and years, the interaction provides a powerful and excludable instrument. Using data for 20 OECD host countries and 187 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 some evidence that terror is systematically imported from countries with large Muslim populations. A larger number of attacks against foreigners in the host country increases the risk of terror from foreigners there. We find that host country policies relating to integration and the rights of foreigners are key to fight terror- stricter policies that exclude foreigners already living in a country increase the risk of terror. 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

  • Dreher, Axel & Gassebner, Martin & Schaudt, Paul, 2017. "The Effect of Migration on Terror - Made at Home or Imported from Abroad?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12062, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12062
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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).
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:112:y:2019:i:c:p:127-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; migration policy; Terrorism;

    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 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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