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COMMON DRIVERS OF TRANSNATIONAL TERRORISM: PRINCIPAL COMPONENT ANALYSIS

Authors

  • GAIBULLOEV KHUSRAV,

    1. Gailbulloev: Department of Economics, School of Business and Management, American University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 26666, Sharjah, UAE. Phone 971-6-515-2964, Fax 971-6-558-5065, E-mail Khusrav_75@hotmail.com
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  • SANDLER TODD,

    1. Sandler: Department of Economics, School of Economic, Political & Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080. Phone 1-972-883-6725, Fax 1-972-883-6486, E-mail tsandler@utdallas.edu
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  • SUL DONGGYU

    1. Sul: Department of Economics, School of Economic, Political & Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080. Phone 1-972-883-2920, Fax 1-972-883-6486, E-mail D.Sul@utdallas.edu
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    • We thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. This study was funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) at the University of Southern California, grant numbers 2007-ST-061-RE000001 and 2010-ST-061-RE0001. However, any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of DHS or CREATE.


Abstract

This article applies principal component analysis to decompose transnational terrorism during 1970–2007 into common (worldwide) and idiosyncratic (country-specific) factors. Regardless of alternative thresholds and filtering procedures, a single common factor is related to individual countries' transnational terrorist events. Based on a conventional criterion, Lebanon's transnational terrorism is the key common driver of global transnational terrorist incidents. With a more conservative criterion, four additional countries—United States, Germany, Iraq, and the United Kingdom—are core countries in explaining cross-sectional correlation across 106 countries' transnational terrorism. The analysis shows that there is a marked cross-sectional dependence among transnational terrorist incidents worldwide. (JEL C38, H56)

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