Earthquakes, hurricanes, and terrorism: do natural disasters incite terror?.


Claude Berrebi and Jordan Ostwald. 2011. “Earthquakes, hurricanes, and terrorism: do natural disasters incite terror?” PUBLIC CHOICE, 149, 3-4, Pp. 383-403. Publisher's Version


A novel and important issue in contemporary security policy is the impact of natural disasters on terrorism. Natural disasters can strain a society and its government, creating vulnerabilities which terrorist groups might exploit. Using a structured methodology and detailed data on terrorism, disasters, and other relevant controls for 167 countries between 1970 and 2007, we find a strong positive impact of disaster-related deaths on subsequent terrorism incidence and fatalities. Furthermore, the effects differ by disaster type and GDP per capita. The results consistently are significant and robust across a multitude of disaster and terrorism measures for a diverse set of model specifications.

Last updated on 01/23/2019

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