Alberto Abadie

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Alberto Abadie (born April 3, 1968) is a Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, born in the Basque Country, Spain. He received his PhD in Economics from M.I.T. in 1999.

Abadie's view is that the level of political freedom, not poverty, explains terrorism. As he told the Harvard Gazette, 'In the past, we heard people refer to the strong link between terrorism and poverty, but in fact when you look at the data, it's not there. This is true not only for events of international terrorism, as previous studies have shown, but perhaps more surprisingly also for the overall level of terrorism, both of domestic and of foreign origin.' His research indicated that it is areas with intermediate levels political freedom that experience the most terrorism. Both societies with high levels of political freedom and authoritarian regimes have low levels of terrorism. Autocratic nation's 'Tight control and repressive practices keep terrorist activities in check, while nations making the transition to more open, democratic governments may be politically unstable, which makes them more vulnerable.' [1][2]

A long held interest of his has been the effect of terrorism on economic activity, using the Basque country as a case study. Abadie's view is that in an era of free flow capital in the global financial markets, terrorism may have a greater chilling effect than previously thought. Since even a low risk of damage from a terrorist attack may be enough to send investors looking elsewhere.

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