Rockets and votes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Citizens in many countries are forced to make their political decisions under the threat of terrorism. This paper explores the effects of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on voting patterns in Israeli elections between 1999 and 2015. Relying on a micro-level dataset of claims for rocket-related property damages as a proxy for the severity of the rocket attacks, I find that an additional one thousand claims in a locality increases right-bloc parties’ vote-share by about 4 percentage points. Recent attacks, initial exposure and geographical proximity lead to stronger effects on voting behavior. The results are driven by actual exposure of the locality to rocket fire rather than by the mere threat of an attack.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-784
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I thank the editor, Scott Adams, as well as three anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions. This paper is based on the third chapter of my PhD dissertation at the Hebrew University. I am particularly grateful to my advisor, Asaf Zussman, for his guidance and support. I thank Ruben Enikopolov, Yehonatan Givati, Esteban Klor, Maria Petrova, Moses Shayo, Noam Zusssman and audiences at the NBER Summer Institute, Annual Workshop on Research Design for Causal Inference at Northwestern University, the Israeli Center of Research Excellence, the Israeli Economic Association Meeting, the Rabin Graduate Conference in Political Science, Hebrew University, Ben-Gurion University, Bar-Ilan University, University of Haifa, and IDC Herzlia for useful comments. I am grateful to Amir Dahan from the Israel Tax Authority for providing data and to Adi Ben-Nun from the GIS lab at the Hebrew University for his help with the maps. Financial support for this project was generously provided by Fulbright Post-Doctoral fellowship 2018/2019 and by the Swiss Center for Conflict Research, Management and Resolution, Hebrew University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Conflict
  • Elections
  • Israel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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