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Stopping Suicide Attacks: Optimal Strategies and Unintended Consequences

  • Michael McBride
  • Gary Richardson

Governments fighting terrorists have many tactical options, yet these options often yield unintended and counterproductive consequences. This paper models a terrorist organization, a religious group from which the terrorists recruit suicide bombers, and the society in which the terrorists are embedded. The model illuminates how the choice of anti-insurgent tactics influences the incidence of attacks, paying particular attention to the direct and indirect (unintended) consequences of the government's actions. The ultimate goal of this work is to identify the best way to stop terrorist attacks

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16637.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16637.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Publication status: published as Michael McBride & Gary Richardson, 2012. "Stopping Suicide Attacks: Optimal Strategies and Unintended Consequences," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 413-429, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16637
Note: POL
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  1. Wintrobe,Ronald, 2006. "Rational Extremism," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521859646.
  2. Tilman Brück, 2004. "An Economic Analysis of Security Policies," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 456, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Eli Berman & Laurence R. Iannaccone, 2005. "Religious Extremism: The Good, The Bad, and The Deadly," NBER Working Papers 11663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eli Berman & David D. Laitin, 2008. "Religion, Terrorism and Public Goods: Testing the Club Model," NBER Working Papers 13725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger, . "How to Fight Terrorism: Alternatives to Deterrence," IEW - Working Papers 137, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-91, April.
  7. Sandler, Todd & Arce, Daniel G., 2007. "Terrorism: A Game-Theoretic Approach," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
  8. Joao Ricardo Faria & Daniel Arce, 2005. "Terror Support And Recruitment," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 263-273.
  9. 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.
  10. Claude Berrebi & Darius Lakdawalla, 2007. "How Does Terrorism Risk Vary Across Space And Time? An Analysis Based On The Israeli Experience," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 113-131.
  11. 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.
  12. Daniel G. Arce & Todd Sandler, 2010. "Terrorist Spectaculars: Backlash Attacks and the Focus of Intelligence," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 54(2), pages 354-373, April.
  13. Eli Berman, 2003. "Hamas, Taliban and the Jewish Underground: An Economist's View of Radical Religious Militias," NBER Working Papers 10004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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