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Why Kill Politicians? A Rational Choice Analysis of Political Assassinations

Bruno Frey

No 324, IEW - Working Papers from Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich

Abstract: In the course of history a large number of politicians has been assassinated. A rational choice analysis is used to distinguish the expected marginal benefits of killing, and the marginal cost of attacking a politician. The comparative analysis of various equilibria helps us to gain insights into specific historical events. The analysis suggests that � in addition to well-known security measures � an extension of democracy, a rule by a committee of several politicians, more decentralization via the division of power and federalism, and a strengthening of civil society significantly reduce politicians� probability of being attacked and killed.

Keywords: Rational choice; democracy; dictatorship; assassination; deterrence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D01 D70 K14 K42 Z10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-his and nep-law
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