DP13257 Religiosity and Terrorism: Evidence from Ramadan Fasting

Author(s): Roland Hodler, Paul A. Raschky, Anthony Strittmatter
Publication Date: October 2018
Keyword(s): economics of religion, Terrorism
JEL(s): D74, H56, Z12
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics, Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13257

This study examines the effect of religiosity on terrorism by focusing on one of the five pillars of Islam: Ramadan fasting. For identification, we exploit two facts: First, daily fasting from dawn to sunset during Ramadan is considered mandatory for most Muslims. Second, the Islamic calendar is not synchronized with the solar cycle. We find a robust negative effect of more intense Ramadan fasting on terrorist events within districts and country-years in predominantly Muslim countries. We argue that this effect partly operates through a decrease in public support for terrorism, which in turn reduces the operational capabilities of terrorist groups.