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Immigration, integration and terrorism: is there a clash of cultures?

  • Fischer, Justina

We test whether immigrants are more prone to support terror than natives because of lower opportunity costs, using the international World Values Survey data. We show that, in general, economically, politically and socially non-integrated persons are more likely to accept using violence for achieving political goals, consistent with the economic model of crime. We also find evidence for the destructive effects of a ‘clash of cultures’: Immigrants in OECD countries who originate from more culturally distanced countries in Africa and Asia appear more likely to view using violence for political goals as justified. Most importantly, we find no evidence that the clash-of-cultures-effect is driven by Islam religion, which appears irrelevant to terror support. As robustness test we relate individual attitude to real-life behavior: using country panels of transnational terrorist attacks in OECD countries, we show that the population attitudes towards violence and terror determine the occurrence of terror incidents, as does the share of immigrants in the population. A further analysis shows a positive association of immigrants from Africa and Asia with transnational terror, while the majority religion Islam of the sending country does not appear to play a role. Again, we find that culture defined by geographic proximity dominates culture defined by religion.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis with number 48704.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc11:48704
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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  1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "Long Term Persistence," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/30, European University Institute.
  2. Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2009. "Government decentralization as a disincentive for transnational terror? An empirical analysis," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 313/2009, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  3. 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.
  4. Pezzini, Silvia & Robert MacCulloch, 2003. "The Role of Freedom, Growth and Religion in the Taste for Revolution," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 163, Royal Economic Society.
  5. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "Appeasing nihilists? Some economic thoughts on reducing terrorist activity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 301-313, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Dreher, Axel & Gassebner, Martin, 2008. "Does political proximity to the U.S. cause terror?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 27-29, April.
  9. Bernholz, Peter, 2004. "Supreme values as the basis for terror," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 317-333, June.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  11. Fischer, Justina AV, 2010. "Accounting for Unobserved Country Heterogeneity in Happiness Research: Country Fixed Effects versus Region Fixed Effects," MPRA Paper 22272, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Frey, Bruno S. & Luechinger, Simon, 2004. "Decentralization as a disincentive for terror," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 509-515, June.
  13. Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard & Mogens Justesen & Robert Klemmensen, 2006. "The political economy of freedom, democracy and transnational terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 289-315, July.
  14. Nannestad, Peter, 2004. "Immigration as a challenge to the Danish welfare state?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 755-767, September.
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