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Do Poor Economic Conditions Affect Terrorism?

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  • Claude Berrebi
  • Esteban F. Klor

Abstract

While the existing empirical literature shows that poverty and economic conditions are not correlated with the quantity of terror, theory predicts that poverty and poor economic conditions may affect the quality of terror. Poor economic conditions may lead more able individuals to participate in terror attacks, allowing terror organizations to send betterqualified terrorists to more complex, high-impact terror missions. Using data on Palestinian suicideterrorists, we provide evidence of the correlation between economic conditions, the characteristics of suicide terrorists, and the targets they attack.

Suggested Citation

  • Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2012. "Do Poor Economic Conditions Affect Terrorism?," EUSECON Policy Briefing 15, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwepb:diwepb15
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.391402.de/diw_eusecon_pb0015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Abadie, 2006. "Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 50-56, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Benmelech, Efraim & Berrebi, Claude & Klor, Esteban F, 2010. "Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism," CEPR Discussion Papers 7995, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Efraim Benmelech & Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2010. "The Economic Cost of Harboring Terrorism," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 54(2), pages 331-353, April.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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