Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/180257
Authors: 
Mahmood, Rafat
Jetter, Michael
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper No. 6995
Abstract: 
By facilitating the flow of information in society, communications technology (CT; e.g., newspapers, radio, television, the internet) can help terrorists to (i) spread their message, (ii) recruit followers, and (iii) coordinate among group members. However, CT also facilitates monitoring and arresting terrorists. This paper formulates the hypothesis that a society’s level of CT is systematically related to terrorism. We introduce a simple theoretical framework, suggesting that terrorism first becomes more attractive with a rise in CT, but then decreases, following an inverted U-shape. Accessing data for 199 countries from 1970-2014, we find evidence for these predictions: Terrorism peaks at intermediate ranges of CT and corresponding magnitudes are sizeable. Our estimations control for a range of potentially confounding factors, as well as country- and year-fixed effects. Results are consistent throughout a battery of robustness checks and placebo regressions. Finally, we find no evidence of a potential reporting bias explaining our findings.
Subjects: 
communications technology
GTD
information flows
terrorism
panel data
JEL: 
D74
D83
L82
L86
L96
P16
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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