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The effect of media attention on terrorism

Michael Jetter ()

Journal of Public Economics, 2017, vol. 153, issue C, 32-48

Abstract: This paper tests for a causal connection between media attention devoted to terrorism and subsequent attacks. Analyzing 61,132 attack days in 201 countries produces evidence that increased New York Times coverage encourages further attacks in the same country. Using natural disasters in the United States as an exogenous variation diminishing media attention, the link appears causal. One additional article is suggested to produce 1.4 attacks over the following week, equivalent to three casualties on average. This result is robust to numerous alternative estimations and it appears unlikely that attacks are simply postponed. If terrorists do not receive media attention, they will attack less.

Keywords: Media attention; Terrorism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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