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

  • Andreas Freytag


    (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Jens J. Krüger


    (Technical University Darmstadt)

  • Daniel Meierrieks


    (University of Paderborn)

  • Friedrich Schneider


    (Johannes Kepler University of Linz)

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 University of Paderborn, CIE Center for International Economics in its series Working Papers CIE with number 19.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pdn:ciepap:19
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