Labor Market Conditions, Political Events and Palestinian Suicide Bombings
Objectives. This paper analyzes the relationship between Palestinian suicide bombings and economic and political conditions from 1993 to 2001. Labor market conditions could affect the number of terror attacks because when the economy worsens, the opportunity cost of engaging in suicide terrorism decreases. An alternative explanation is that suicide bombings are responses to changes in the political environment. Methods. Count data regression models are employed to explore the relative importance of economic and political factors in determining the frequency of suicide bombings. Results. Economic conditions explain some of the occurrence of suicide bombings from 1993 to 2001, and some political events are also strongly correlated with bombings. Conclusions. The results imply that the roots of suicide bombing may lie in the unfulilled economic promises of the Oslo peace process, but specific acts by Israelis are a proximite cause of the attacks.
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