The effect of terror attacks on crime

Eran Itskovich*, Or Tal Baron, Roni Factor, Simon Perry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Previous research has shown that terror attacks affect a variety of outcomes. However, one outcome that has remained relatively neglected is crime. In the current study we examine the immediate effect of terrorism on crime, and discuss several behavioral mechanisms that might explain this effect. Design/methodology/approach: We use data from 190 Israeli localities over 12 years (1999–2011). Applying a fixed-effects Poisson regression model, we assess the effect of terror attacks on recorded crimes of three types – property, domestic violence, and fraud – on the days following the attack. We also examine whether the effect is conditioned on geographical proximity to the attack. Findings: We find the occurrence of terror attacks has a significant and negative effect on recorded cases of the three crime types. This effect grows stronger as geographical proximity to the attack increases. Originality/value: Our results suggest that terrorism has an immediate negative effect on crime. This effect might be explained by changes in the behavior of police officers, offenders, and citizens.

Original languageEnglish
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Crime
  • Crime displacement
  • Diffusion of benefits
  • Fixed effects
  • Panel data
  • Terror attacks


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