Do Citizens Want the Truth about Terrorist Threats Regardless of the Consequences?
NBER Working Paper No. 16232
This paper proposes the use of consumers’ preferences in formulating policies for keeping secret information about terrorist activities and threats that might compromise future security. We report the results from two surveys indicating that people have clear preferences for full disclosure of some terrorist related information regardless of its consequences for specific industries or future threats. This result is especially clear for threats involving commercial airlines. For those threats associated with more general surveillance or threats to the financial system respondents were more willing to allow government authorities to withhold information.