National Economic Impact Analysis of Terrorist Attacks and Natural Disasters

National Economic Impact Analysis of Terrorist Attacks and Natural Disasters

Edited by Harry W. Richardson, Jiyoung Park, James E. Moore II and Qisheng Pan

This book develops a national economic impact model to estimate the effects of simulated terrorist attacks and natural disasters on individual US States and economic sectors. The model, called NIEMO (The National Interstate Economic Model) looks at interindustry relationships and interregional trade. It is highly disaggregated making the model very accurate. The authors examine potential attack targets including theme parks, sporting events, bridges and tunnels in the national highway system as well as attempts to shoot down airplanes or spread foot-and-mouth disease. Covered natural disasters are almost all real world: Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin Tornado, the Gulf Oil Spill and Hurricane Sandy. The effects on State economies caused by the closing international borders in response to a global pandemic is also examined.

Chapter 8: A foot-and-mouth epidemic

Bumsoo Lee, Peter Gordon, Harry W. Richardson, JiYoung Park, James E. Moore II and Qisheng Pan

Subjects: economics and finance, methodology of economics, environment, disasters, politics and public policy, political economy, terrorism and security


Agroterrorism presents an obvious and major terrorist threat to the USA and the world, with the potential for severe economic consequences and significant human health risks. Chalk (2001, p. 2) defines agroterrorism as ‘the deliberate introduction of a disease agent, either against livestock or into the food chain, for purposes of undermining stability and/or generating fear.’ An agroterrorism attack can be implemented at relatively low cost by an attacker. Terrorists can readily contaminate livestock, crops or any targets in the food supply chain, including farms, processing plants and distribution systems. Security levels have been significantly heightened for potential urban targets of terrorism and infrastructure since the attacks of 9/11. However, it remains almost impossible to identify and protect all potential targets of agroterrorism. The agricultural sector is particularly vulnerable because biological attacks on agriculture require relatively little scientific expertise and technology, while a full-scale bioterrorist attack on human populations is more technically challenging (Wheelis et al., 2002).

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