“Gresham’s theorem” for Terrorists’ Behavior and Government’s Strategy Choice

Publication date
Wednesday, 14.04.2004

K. Yanovskiy

Public Choice Society Annual Meeting 2004, Baltimore, Maryland

In the paper alternative theoretical approaches for the Terrorist Activity Determinant Analysis are tested. Classical “Crime and Punishment” approach is found to be the most appropriate for the analysis of terrorist’s motives. Data on victims of acts of terrorism is used for hypothesis verification. Concessions and policy of economic aid seem to be inefficient for prevention of violence escalation.
Terrorism (The U.S. Department of State, 1990 definition3 is taken with authors’ comments in bold) is the unlawful and rational (well planned) use of, or threatened use of, force or violence against individuals or property to coerce and intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve polit ical, religious, or ideological objectives.


Problem Statement and Definitions   1
Sources of Data   3
Basic hypothesis tested   3
Basic Assumptions   4
The model for statistical analysis   5
Results of three linear regressions   6
International Terrorism since WWII: trend to maximization of civilian victims’ number   7
The Damur and Sabra-Shatila Cases: example of biased coverage   11
Rules of the Game   11
Competing claims for taking responsibility for murders: the sign of rational behavior   15
Conclusions   17

References   18

Annex 1 Raw data for statistical analysis   20

Annex 2 The Damur case: some citations and short comment   22


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