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Why Suicide-Terrorists Get Educated, and What to Do About It

  • Azam, Jean-Paul

This paper tries to reconcile the observed fact that suicide-terrorists have a relatively high education level with rationality. It brings out the conditions under which potential students choose to acquire some education in a rational-choice model where this yields a non-zero probability of blowing up the resulting human capital in a terrorist attack. The comparative-statics of the rational expectations equilibrium of this model demonstrate how economic development, on the one hand, and repression, on the other hand, might reduce terrorism under some parameter restrictions.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 10-230.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Publication status: Published in Public Choice, vol.�153, n°3-4, décembre 2012, p.�357-373.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:24339
Contact details of provider: Phone: (+33) 5 61 12 86 23
Web page: http://www.tse-fr.eu/

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  1. Claude Berrebi, 2003. "Evidence About the Link Between Education, Poverty and Terrorism Among Palestinians," Working Papers 856, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Jean-Paul Azam, 2005. "Suicide-bombing as inter-generational investment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 177-198, January.
  3. Alberto Abadie, 2006. "Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 50-56, May.
  4. Ronald Wintrobe, 2006. "Extremism, Suicide Terror, and Authoritarism," ICER Working Papers 8-2006, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  5. Bruno S. Frey, 2004. "Dealing with Terrorism – Stick or Carrot?," Books, Edward Elgar, number 3435, March.
  6. Mario Ferrero, 2006. "Martyrdom Contracts," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 50(6), pages 855-877, December.
  7. Jean-Paul Azam & Véronique Thelen, 2008. "The roles of foreign aid and education in the war on terror," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 375-397, June.
  8. Atin Basuchoudhary & William Shughart, 2010. "On Ethnic Conflict And The Origins Of Transnational Terrorism," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 65-87.
  9. Azam, Jean-Paul & Thelen, Véronique, 2009. "Foreign Aid vs. Military Intervention in the War on Terror," TSE Working Papers 09-061, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  10. Akerlof, George A, 1983. "Loyalty Filters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 54-63, March.
  11. Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Weerapana, Akila, 2004. "Economic conditions and terrorism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 463-478, June.
  12. Pierre-Emmanuel Ly, 2007. "The charitable activities of terrorist organizations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 177-195, April.
  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. Ronald Wintrobe, 2006. "Extremism, suicide terror, and authoritarianism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 169-195, July.
  15. Eli Berman & David Laitin, 2005. "Hard Targets: Theory and Evidence on Suicide Attacks," NBER Working Papers 11740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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