International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development
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International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development

Edited by Robert E.B. Lucas

This Handbook summarizes the state of thinking and presents new evidence on various links between international migration and economic development, with particular reference to lower-income countries. The connections between trade, aid and migration are critically examined through global case studies.
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Chapter 15: Development, immigration and terrorism

Pınar Derin-Güre


This Handbook chapter investigates the link between economic development, immigration and terrorism. Roots of international, domestic, and separatist terrorism have been studied using an extensive, multi-country panel data set obtained from Memorial Institute of Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT). Recording the target country and the terrorist’s country of origin augments the data. Each terrorist incident is classified as international, domestic or separatist. Whereas the previous literature has found that terrorism is unrelated to economic conditions, by using a panel data analysis with country fixed effects I find that the richer the country, the fewer the terrorist attacks committed abroad by the country’s nationals. Similarly, nationals from richer countries commit fewer terrorist attacks at home. By building a new data set with regional GDP of separatist regions, I have found that the higher the GDP of the separatist region, the fewer the terrorist attacks committed by native separatists. This chapter also aims to summarize the immigration and terrorism relation in view of this economic literature. Although the literature demonstrates that loopholes in the immigration regulations of the developed world have been used widely by the terrorist organizations in international attacks, immigration itself does not seem to be an important contributor to terrorism.

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