Benmelech, Efraim, Claude Berrebi, and Esteban F Klor
. 2012. “Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism
”. Journal of Politics
74 (1) : 113-128.Abstract
This article analyzes the link between economic conditions and the quality of suicide terrorism. While the existing empirical literature shows that poverty and economic conditions are not correlated with the quantity of terror, theory predicts that poverty and poor economic conditions may affect the quality of terror. Poor economic conditions may lead more able and better-educated individuals to participate in terror attacks, allowing terror organizations to send better-qualified terrorists to more complex, higher-impact terror missions. Using the universe of Palestinian suicide terrorists who acted against Israeli targets in 2000–2006, we provide evidence of the correlation between economic conditions, the characteristics of suicide terrorists, and the targets they attack. High levels of unemployment enable terror organizations to recruit better educated, more mature, and more experienced suicide terrorists, who in turn attack more important Israeli targets.
Ben-Bassat, Avi, Momi Dahan, and Esteban F Klor
. 2012. “The Impact of the Economic Costs of Conflict on Individuals' Political Attitudes
”. Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy
18 (2) : Article 4.Abstract
A large number of studies show that war and terrorism have a significant effect on individuals’ political attitudes. Yet, this extensive literature does not inspect the mechanisms behind this effect. This paper concentrates on one possible mechanism, by differentiating between the human toll of terror and war and the economic costs they cause. For these purposes we focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and use variation in the level of violence across time and space together with localities’ different exposure to the tourism sector to estimate their respective effects on political attitudes. Our results suggest that whereas fatalities from the conflict make Israelis more willing to grant territorial concessions to the Palestinians, the associated economic costs of conflict do not have a consistent significant effect on individuals’ political attitudes.
Jaeger, David, et al.
2012. “The Struggle for Palestinian Hearts and Minds: Violence and Public Opinion in the Second Intifada
”. Journal of Public Economics
96 (3-4) : 354-368.Abstract
This paper examines how violence influences the political preferences of an aggrieved constituency that is purportedly represented by militant factions. Using longitudinal public opinion poll micro data of the Palestinian population linked to data on fatalities from the Second Intifada, we find that although local Israeli violence discourages Palestinians from supporting moderate political positions, this “radicalization” is fleeting, and vanishes completely within 90 days. We do, however, find evidence suggesting that collateral violence affecting Palestinian civilians has a stronger effect on the populations’ political preferences relative to individuals directly targeted by the Israeli military. In addition, we observe that major political events in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have had a longer-term impact on political preferences. Individuals who were teenagers during the period of the Oslo negotiations tend to have relatively moderate preferences, while those who were teenagers during the First Intifada tend to be relatively radical.