The impact of the economic costs of conflict on individuals' political attitudes

Avi Ben Bassat*, Momi Dahan, Benny Geys, Esteban F. Klor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A large number of studies show that war and terrorism have a significant effect on individuals' political attitudes. Yet, this extensive literature does not inspect the mechanisms behind this effect. This paper concentrates on one possible mechanism, by differentiating between the human toll of terror and war and the economic costs they cause. For these purposes we focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and use variation in the level of violence across time and space together with localities' different exposure to the tourism sector to estimate their respective effects on political attitudes. Our results suggest that whereas fatalities from the conflict make Israelis more willing to grant territorial concessions to the Palestinians, the associated economic costs of conflict do not have a consistent significant effect on individuals' political attitudes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number4
JournalPeace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
∗We are grateful to Dror Walter and to the Guttman Institute for proving us with the data on the political attitudes of the Israeli population. We also thank Kfir Batz, Eli Berglas and Rotem Horowitz for excellent research assistance and Raul Caruso and the seminar audience at the Israeli Democracy Institute for helpful comments and suggestions. Benny Geys gratefully acknowledges financial support from FWO-Vlaanderen (grant G.0022.12).


  • Economic costs of conflict
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Political attitudes
  • Tourism


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