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Does Terrorism Work?

Eric Gould and Esteban Klor ()

No 7589, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: This paper examines whether terrorism is an effective tool to achieve political goals. By exploiting variation in terror attacks over time and across locations in Israel from 1988 to 2006, we show that local terror attacks cause Israelis to be: (i) more willing to grant territorial concessions to the Palestinians; (ii) more willing to accept a Palestinian state; (iii) and less likely to identify oneself as being right-wing. These effects are especially pronounced within demographic groups that are traditionally right-wing in their political views. However, terror attacks beyond a certain threshold are less effective, and may reach levels which cause Israelis to adopt a less-accommodating position. In addition, we show that terror induces Israelis to vote increasingly for right-wing parties, as the right-wing parties move to the left in response to terror. Hence, terrorism appears to be an effective strategy in terms of shifting the entire Israeli political landscape to the left. These findings may shed light on the causes underlying the spread of global terrorism in the last few decades.

Keywords: Political Views; Terrorism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D74 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Date: 2009-12
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Journal Article: Does Terrorism Work? (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Does Terrorism Work? (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Does Terrorism Work? (2009) Downloads
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