Cover: Three Essays on Terrorism, its Relationship with Natural Disasters and its Effect on Female Labor Force Participation

Three Essays on Terrorism, its Relationship with Natural Disasters and its Effect on Female Labor Force Participation

Published Nov 15, 2011

by Jordan Ostwald

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Nature's disasters and their aftermath have engendered fear and fascination in human minds for thousands of years. They have shaped the earth, the climate, and the makeup of human civilization for perhaps even longer. As societies have expanded, they have adapted in an attempt to mitigate the effects of these devastating events, but all too often the propensity of disasters to overwhelm human adaptations has proved both humbling and daunting. The aftermath of a disaster is a particularly trying time for any government. A society vests much of its security within its government's ability to protect; thus, the effectiveness and efficiency of disaster preparedness and recovery measures are crucial to maintaining a government's legitimacy. As a result, natural disasters as possible catalysts of terrorism have serious implications for both national security and disaster policy both locally and regionally. The aim of this dissertation is to explore and illuminate the relationship between natural disasters and terrorism. The research will examine and test this link across many dimensions of both disasters and terrorism. Furthermore, these natural events introduce essentially random exogenous shocks which could affect terrorism. An added benefit of this randomness is that it can be used as an instrument to assess causal effects of terrorism on other factors. In particular, it utilizes this fact to investigate and clarify causal links between terrorism, female labor force participation, and larger gender disparities in the labor market.

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This document was submitted as a dissertation in September 2011 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Claude Berrebi (Chair), Paul Heaton, and Nicholas Burger.

This publication is part of the RAND dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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