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The Origins of Terrorism - Cross-Country Estimates on Socio-Economic Determinants of Terrorism

  • Andreas Freytag

    ()

    (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Department of Economics, Germany)

  • Jens J. Krüger

    ()

    (Technical University Darmstadt, Department of Law and Economics, Germany)

  • Daniel Meierrieks

    ()

    (University of Paderborn, Department of Economics, Germany)

  • Friedrich Schneider

    ()

    (Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Department of Economics, Austria)

To expand our knowledge about an appropriate anti-terror strategy, it is indispensable to assess the underlying causes of terror. We examine social and economic conditions in the country of origin of terrorist attacks, claiming that low opportunity costs of terror, e.g. approximated as slow growth and poor institutions raise the propensity of terror and the willingness in the population to support terror. Using a mixed effects Poisson regression model, we are able to show that unfortunate socio-economic conditions in a country are suitable to reduce the opportunity cost for potential terrorists and increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks originating from a specific country. Interestingly, this effect is relevant after a certain level of development has been reached. We therefore distinguish between the OECD, Europe and Islamic countries.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2009-009.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2009-009
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