NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Michael McBride

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Working Papers

December 2010Stopping Suicide Attacks: Optimal Strategies and Unintended Consequences
with Gary Richardson: w16637
Governments fighting terrorists have many tactical options, yet these options often yield unintended and counterproductive consequences. This paper models a terrorist organization, a religious group from which the terrorists recruit suicide bombers, and the society in which the terrorists are embedded. The model illuminates how the choice of anti-insurgent tactics influences the incidence of attacks, paying particular attention to the direct and indirect (unintended) consequences of the government’s actions. The ultimate goal of this work is to identify the best way to stop terrorist attacks
May 2008Religion, Longevity, and Cooperation: The Case of the Craft Guild.
with Gary Richardson: w14004
When the mortality rate is high, repeated interaction alone may not sustain cooperation, and religion may play an important role in shaping economic institutions. This insight explains why during the fourteenth century, when plagues decimated populations and the church promoted the doctrine of purgatory, guilds that bundled together religious and occupational activities dominated manufacturing and commerce. During the sixteenth century, the disease environment eased, and the Reformation dispelled the doctrine of purgatory, necessitating the development of new methods of organizing industry. The logic underlying this conclusion has implications for the study of institutions, economics, and religion throughout history and in the developing world today.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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