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Hiding in Plain Sight – Using Signals to Detect Terrorists

  • Atin Basuchoudhary

    ()

    (Department of Economics and Business, Virginia Military Institute)

  • Laura Razzolini

    ()

    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

In this paper, we study the interaction between a governmental security agency, such as the Transportation Security Agency, or the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and a terrorist organization, such as Al Qaeda. The governmental agency wants to stop the terrorists, but first must infer whether a visa applicant or an airline passenger is a terrorist or not, on the basis of some observable signal. On the other hand, the terrorist organization’s objective is to get past security to commit murder and mayhem. We derive the equilibrium strategy under these circumstances. With a signaling model we evaluate specific anti-terrorist policies such as the creation of the new Homeland Security Agency and increased airport security screening.

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File URL: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~lrazzolini/terror.pdf
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Paper provided by VCU School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0502.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:0502
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Web page: http://www.business.vcu.edu/economics
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  1. Lapan, Harvey E. & Sandler, Todd, 1988. "To Bargain or Not to Bargain: That is the Question," Staff General Research Papers 10817, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 1999. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lapan, Harvey E. & Sandler, Todd, 1993. "Terrorism and signalling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 383-397, August.
  4. Cauley, Jon & Im, Eric Iksoon, 1988. "Intervention Policy Analysis of Skyjackings and Other Terrorist Incidents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 27-31, May.
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