Does Education Decrease Terrorism?

It depends on the state of a country’s economy:

Terrorist groups are more likely to want to recruit people with useful skills, in other words those with more education and success in the labor market. But it become easier for them to do so during economic downturns, when there are fewer non-terrorist opportunities available.

And indeed, a 2011 study using microlevel data on the Palestinian economy found “evidence of the correlation between economic conditions, the characteristics of suicide terrorists, and the targets they attack. High levels of unemployment enable terror organizations to recruit better educated, more mature, and more experienced suicide terrorists, who in turn attack more important Israeli targets.” A recent country-level analysis by three German economists found evidence that “education may fuel terrorist activity in the presence of poor political and socio-economic conditions, whereas better education in combination with favorable conditions decreases terrorism.”

Previous Dish on the terrorism and education here.