Terrorism and Voting Behavior: Evidence from the United States. A new GLO Discussion Paper by GLO Fellow Abel Brodeur and colleagues.

A new GLO Discussion Paper finds that terrorism had less of an influence on voters than is usually thought.

The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.

Abel Brodeur

GLO Discussion Paper No. 755, 2021

Terrorism and Voting Behavior: Evidence from the United StatesDownload PDF
Baccini, Leonardo & Brodeur, Abel & Nossek, Sean & Shor, Eran

GLO Fellow Abel Brodeur

Author Abstract: This paper examines the impact of terrorism on voting behavior in the United States. We rely on an exhaustive list of terror attacks over the period 1970-2016 and exploit the inherent randomness of the success or failure of terror attacks to identify the political impacts of terrorism. We first confirm that the success of terror attacks is plausibly random by showing that it is orthogonal to potential confounders. We then show that on average successful attacks have no effect on presidential and non-presidential elections. As a benchmark, we also rely on a more naïve identification strategy using all the counties not targeted by terrorists as a comparison group. We show that using this naïve identification strategy leads to strikingly different results overestimating the effect of terror attacks on voting behavior. Overall, our results indicate that terrorism has less of an influence on voters than is usually thought.

Featured image: anthony-fomin-on-unsplash

GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS,  EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.