In Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism (NBER Working Paper No. 10859) Alberto Abadie...finds that the risk of terrorism is not significantly higher for poorer countries, once other country-specific characteristics are considered. In particular, Abadie finds that a country's level of political freedom better explains the presence of terrorism....(Thanks to EconoPundit for the pointer.)
After controlling for the level of political rights, fractionalization, and geography, Abadie concludes that per capita national income is not significantly associated with terrorism. He finds, though, that lower levels of political rights are linked to higher levels of terrorism[.] [C]ountries with the highest levels of political rights are also the countries that suffer the lowest levels of terrorism. However, the relationship between the level of political rights and terrorism is not a simple linear one. Countries in an intermediate range of political rights experience a greater risk of terrorism than countries either with a very high degree of political rights or than severely authoritarian countries with very low levels of political rights.
Why this relationship? Abadie offers two possibilities. "On the one hand, the repressive practices commonly adopted by autocratic regimes to eliminate political dissent may help [keep] terrorism at bay," he explains. "On the other hand, intermediate levels of political freedom are often experienced during times of political transitions, when governments are weak, political instability is elevated, so conditions are favorable for the appearance of terrorism."
Saturday, May 21, 2005
This makes sense to me: