Terrorism, Anti-Terrorism, and the Copycat Effect

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In this paper we formulate and analyze a simple dynamic model of the interaction between terrorists and authorities. Our primary aim is to analyze how the introduction of a so called copycat effect influences behavior and outcomes. We first show that our simple model of terrorist cells implies that an increase in anti-terrorism makes it more likely that cells will plan small rather than large attacks. Furthermore, we see that an increase in anti-terrorism can make a terrorist attack more likely. Analyzing the problem of optimal anti-terrorism we see that the introduction of a copycat effect rationalizes an increase in the level of anti-terrorism after a large attack. Using this result we show how the copycat effect changes the dynamic pattern of terrorism attacks and what the long run consequences are
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment of Economics, University of Copenhagen
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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ID: 877346