International Terrorism: Causes, Consequences and Cures
A popular view is that international terrorism is on the increase, that it is religiously motivated and that it has important adverse consequences. This paper investigates this view. It examines the empirical evidence on the causes of international terrorism from the late 1960s to the early 2000s and discovers that, while religion has had a part to play, explanations based on economics and politics appear to be consistent with the facts. Terrorists come from relatively poor and undemocratic countries and commit attacks in relatively rich and democratic ones. The paper then examines the micro, macro and global economic effects of international terrorism from both a theoretical and empirical angle, and discovers that the negative effect on domestic aggregate demand is temporary and the effect on aggregate supply insignificant. Finally, the paper explores policies to deal with international terrorism and demonstrates that this is complex. Analogies with conventional crime may be unhelpful.
© 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Bird, G., Blomberg, S. B. and Hess, G. D. (2008), International Terrorism: Causes, Consequences and Cures. World Economy, 31: 255–274. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9701.2007.01089.x