Macroeconomic Instability and Terrorism Nexus; Empirical Evidence in Case of Pakistan
Keywords:Terrorism, Budget deficit, External debt, Unemployment, Macroeconomic instability
The current study is an attempt to analyze the association between macroeconomic instability and terrorism in Pakistan over the period of 1970 to 2020. Six important variables are taken as a proxy to measure macroeconomic instability which includes external debt, budget deficit, trade deficit, real effective exchange rate (REER), inflation and unemployment. Results indicate that there exists a long run cointegration relationship between the indictors of macroeconomic instability and terrorism. FMOLS is employed to obtain the estimates and it reveals that budget deficit and external debt is negatively associated with terrorism. It indicates that government expenditures on different project such as infrastructure create economic opportunities, therefore, reduces terrorism. Furthermore, welfare programmes also improve the performance of socioeconomic variables that translates into harmonized environment which lessens violence. The variable of trade deficit, inflation and unemployment has positive impact on terrorism while REER is insignificant. In context of trade deficit, higher imports results in job loss of domestic industries, hence, it hits the vulnerable groups. Therefore, the opportunity cost of life of these groups reduces and it increases the probability to become a part of terrorist activities. Inflation also pushes the vulnerable groups in poverty by reduces the purchasing power and unemployed individuals are also easy target to get involve themselves in acts of aggression. This study also constructs the macroeconomic instability index including the six variables through principal component analysis (PCA). Results of this model show that macroeconomic instability index and GDP has positive effect on terrorism. In case of GDP, the plausible reason could be uneven income distribution that increases terrorist activities. For the policy implications, government need to divert the resources from non-productive to productive uses through the investment in such projects which has direct and indirect impact on the welfare. In this way deprived group will enjoy economic perks and engage themselves in productive activities rather than becoming a helping hand in terrorism.
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