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Does Terrorism Work?

  • Eric D. Gould

    ()

    (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

  • Esteban F. Klor

    ()

    (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

This paper examines whether terrorism is an effective tool to achieve political goals. By exploiting variation in terror attacks over time and across locations in Israel from 1984 to 2006, we show that local terror attacks cause Israelis to be: (i) more willing to grant territorial concessions to the Palestinians; (ii) more willing to accept a Palestinian state; (iii) less likely to identify oneself as being right-wing; and (iv) more likely to have a favorable opinion of Arabs. These effects are especially pronounced for individuals from particular demographic groups which are typically right-wing in their political views. In addition, we show that terror induces Israelis to vote increasingly for right-wing parties. This pattern of results demonstrates that right-wing parties are becoming more accommodating to Palestinian demands for territorial concessions. Hence, this paper shows that terrorism appears to be an effective strategy in terms of shifting the entire Israeli political landscape to the left. These findings may shed light on the causes underlying the spread of global terrorism in the last few decades.

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Paper provided by Households in Conflict Network in its series HiCN Working Papers with number 67.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:67
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.hicn.org

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  1. David A. Jaeger & Esteban F. Klor & Sami H. Miaari & M. Daniele Paserman, 2008. "The Struggle for Palestinian Hearts and Minds: Violence and Public Opinion in the Second Intifada," NBER Working Papers 13956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  3. 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.
  4. Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2004. "On Terrorism and Electoral Outcomes: Theory and Evidence from the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Working Papers 4, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. 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.
  6. Gary S. Becker & Yona Rubinstein, 2011. "Fear and the Response to Terrorism: An Economic Analysis," CEP Discussion Papers dp1079, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Radha Iyengar & Jonathan Monten, 2008. "Is There an "Emboldenment" Effect? Evidence from the Insurgency in Iraq," NBER Working Papers 13839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Eli Berman & David Laitin, 2005. "Hard Targets: Theory and Evidence on Suicide Attacks," NBER Working Papers 11740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Alberto Abadie, 2004. "Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism," NBER Working Papers 10859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Enriqueta Aragon├ęs & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2000. "Mixed equilibrium in a Downsian model with a favored candidate," Economics Working Papers 502, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Kydd, Andrew & Walter, Barbara F., 2002. "Sabotaging the Peace: The Politics of Extremist Violence," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 263-296, March.
  12. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  13. Alan B. Krueger & Jitka Maleckova, 2003. "Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 119-144, Fall.
  14. Efraim Benmelech & Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2010. "Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism," NBER Working Papers 16320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lapan, Harvey E. & Sandler, Todd, 1993. "Terrorism and Signalling," Staff General Research Papers 10808, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  16. Bruno S. Frey & Dominik Rohner, 2006. "Blood and Ink! The Common-Interest-GameBetween Terrorists and the Media," IEW - Working Papers 285, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  17. Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2008. "Are Voters Sensitive to Terrorism?: Direct Evidence from the Israeli Electorate," Working Papers 477-1, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  18. Alan B. Krueger, 2007. "Introduction to What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism
    [What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
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