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The Cycle of Violence? An Empirical Analysis of Fatalities in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

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  • Jaeger, David A
  • Paserman, M. Daniele

Abstract

This paper studies the dynamics of violence in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict since the outbreak of the Second (or 'Al-Aqsa') Intifada in September 2000, during which more than 3,300 Palestinians and more than 1,000 Israelis have been killed. The conflict has followed an uneven pattern, with periods of high levels of violence and periods of relative calm. Using data on the number of deaths occurring each day between September 2000 and January 2005, we estimate reaction functions for both Israelis and Palestinians and find evidence of unidirectional Granger causality from Palestinian violence to Israeli violence, but not vice versa. This finding is consistent whether we look only at the incidence of fatalities or whether we look at the level of fatalities, and is robust to the specification of the lag structure and the level of time aggregation. We find little evidence that violence on either side has a direct deterrent or incapacitation effect. We do find, however, that successful assassination attempts do reduce the number of subsequent Israeli fatalities. We conclude that, despite the popular perception that Palestinians and Israelis are engaged in 'tit-for-tat' violence, there is no evidence to support that notion.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaeger, David A & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2005. "The Cycle of Violence? An Empirical Analysis of Fatalities in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict," CEPR Discussion Papers 5320, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5320
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Granger causality; Intifada; terrorism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War

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