Discussion paper

DP13257 Religiosity and Terrorism: Evidence from Ramadan Fasting

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.


Hodler, R, P Raschky and A Strittmatter (eds) (2018), “DP13257 Religiosity and Terrorism: Evidence from Ramadan Fasting”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 13257. https://cepr.org/publications/dp13257