Leaving Terrorism Behind? The Impact of Terrorist Attacks on Migration Intentions Around the World
Terrorism is a global phenomenon with devastating consequences for the individuals involved and society in general. The adverse impacts of terrorist attacks may act as a driver for migration, both within and across borders. Yet, empirical evidence on the causal impact of terrorism on migration is scarce. The contribution of our paper is twofold. First, we construct various indicators of terrorist activity at a fine level of spatial and temporal granularity, which allow to fairly accurately identify individuals' exposure to terrorist threat. Second, we use these geo- localized indicators to empirically analyse the role played by terrorist attacks in shaping intentions to migrate either internally or internationally. Specifically, we use a multilevel approach combining these indicators with individual survey data on migration intentions in and from 133 countries, spanning the period 2007-2015. Our results indicate that terrorist attacks spur both internal and international migration intentions, though the effect is stronger for the latter. International migration intentions are, however, not necessarily responsive to the frequency of terrorist attacks, but rather to the intensity of these attacks, measured as the number of fatalities and wounded. In addition, the impact on migration intentions is heterogeneous, varying with both individual and country characteristics.