Employment restrictions and political violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Sami Miaari, Asaf Zussman*, Noam Zussman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Following the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000, Israel imposed severe restrictions on the employment of Palestinians within its borders. We study the effect of this policy change on the involvement of West Bank Palestinians in fatal confrontations with Israelis during the first phase of the Intifada. Identification relies on the fact that variation in the pre-Intifada employment rate in Israel across Palestinian localities was not only considerable but also unrelated to prior levels of involvement in the conflict. We find robust evidence that localities that suffered from a sharper drop in employment opportunities were more heavily involved in the conflict.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)24-44
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
StatePublished - May 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the editor, William Neilson, an associate editor, two anonymous reviewers, Yael Berda, Haggay Etkes, Daniele Paserman and participants of several seminars for many valuable comments. We also thank Aharon Barazani for his help with the data and Hadar Divish for research assistance. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Bank of Israel. Sami Miaari thanks the European Union Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no. 218105 (EUSECON) for funding his stay in DIW-Berlin while he was working on this project.


  • Employment restrictions
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Political violence


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