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ECON Increasing international price of silver can predict (some) terrorist attacks
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  1. Increasing international price of silver can predict (some) terrorist attacks

    This twitter thread is a summary of an amazing paper: {summary}.

    Correlation doesn't imply causation, unless you can find a reasonable hypothesis for the cause.

    Then again, maybe not so fast. Time to reread that paper more closely...

  2. #2
    You're new here, so take this as a gentle educational nudge...

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  3. #3
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    Here is the info. The link that leads to the article at the bottom doesn't work.


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    Ben Marrow
    @benmarrow
    5 days ago, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter

    Absolutely incredible paper presented at the @StiglerCenter's Political Economy of Finance conference in Chicago this weekend, by @NicolaLimodio.

    Takeaway: fluctuations in the international price of silver can predict the probability of terrorist attacks!

    (1/9)
    How does this work? The Quran requires that muslims above a certain threshold of wealth give away 2.5% of wealth as charity ("zakat").

    In Pakistan, the government automatically taxes citizens above this threshold at the 2.5% level.

    (2/9)
    Here's the key: the threshold ("nisab") is historically determined as the price of 612 grams of silver.

    So each year, the Pakistani government looks at the current price of silver, and taxes everyone who falls above the corresponding threshold.

    (3/9)
    Individuals who fall *just* below the threshold one year due the chance price of silver suddenly avoid a 2.5% gvt tax. Those people then increase their private donations to charity (since they have more disposable income + islam calls for alms-giving).

    (4/9)

    Many such donations (whether intended or not) go to charities affiliated with terrorist groups. With this additional financing, these groups conduct more attacks:

    ↑silver price → ↑tax threshold → ↓taxes → ↑charity → ↑terrorist financing → ↑terrorist attacks!

    (5/9)
    Seem farfetched? Here's the key identification point: only *sunni* muslims have to pay to the tax. So, if this story is correct, the price of silver should predict sunni terrorist attacks in Pakistan but not shia ones...and only during Ramadan, when the tax is paid.

    (6/9)
    And that's what the data shows!

    In graph below, the blue line shows the price of silver. The red line plots the *relative* probability of sunni terrorist attacks vs. shia ones.

    (7/9)

    If you're still not convinced, the paper has a litany of robustness checks, (not to mention a cool exercise that scrapes 2.5 million terrorist chat board messages from the dark web, and applies a NLP algorithm to interpret their content to look at terrorist demand)

    (8/9)
    All in all an incredible paper, and a real privilege to hear presented. Congrats to @NicolaLimodio.

    Thanks also @gcaw for good discussion of paper afterwards. Lots of unanswered questions re: determinants of terrorism.

    Read the full paper here: aeaweb.org/conference/201…
    Hwæt! Wé Gárdena in géardagum þéodcyninga þrym gefrúnon· hú ðá æþelingas ellen fremedon. - Listen! We of the Spear-Danes in the days of yore, of those clan-kings heard of their glory. How the worthy princes performed courageous deeds!

  4. #4
    Thanks for the insightful information!

  5. #5
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    Thank you and Welcome to the forum,Menschenjaeger
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  6. #6
    Ben Marrowþ @benmarrow · Oct 4

    And that's what the data shows!

    In graph below, the blue line shows the price of silver. The red line plots the *relative* probability of sunni terrorist attacks vs. shia ones.
    Attached Images

  7. #7
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    This looks like an interesting source Menschenjaeger, good find.


    The Stigler Center

    The Stigler Center aims to promote and disseminate research on regulatory capture, crony capitalism, and the various distortions that special interest groups impose on capitalism.
    https://research.chicagobooth.edu/stigler



    A list of their "working papers".
    https://research.chicagobooth.edu/st...working-papers



    After a bit, the accepted format for posting articles will become second nature.

    Keep it up.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Millwright View Post
    This looks like an interesting source Menschenjaeger, good find.


    The Stigler Center



    https://research.chicagobooth.edu/stigler



    A list of their "working papers".
    https://research.chicagobooth.edu/st...working-papers



    After a bit, the accepted format for posting articles will become second nature.

    Keep it up.
    Agreed, good stuff.

    Keep on keeping on....

  9. Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    We strongly prefer posting entire articles. 20 some years of experience has shown that original articles are often changed or deleted. This board is an amazing archive of information that otherwise would have vanished down the memory hole, either deliberately or simply through attrition.
    Ahhh, I was wondering why so many original posts were so long. OK, will do henceforth.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    You're new here, so take this as a gentle educational nudge...

    We strongly prefer posting entire articles. 20 some years of experience has shown that original articles are often changed ir deleted. This board is an amazing archive of information that otherwise would have vanished down the memory hole, either deliberately or simply through attrition.

    If you are posting from a phone and find it impossible to copy and paste, you may post the links and a brief summary, and ask (in the OP) that someone help you out by posting the content. Most times, one of our great members will step up and help.

    (Also, some sources are so heavy with pictures, ads, etc, that it's nearly impossible to copy them. In that case, you can pist the link and a summary -a "teaser", if you will- and explain why the full content is missing. A few of the British newspaper articles seem to fall into this category)


    And while I'm "nudging", if you post videos, you must post at least a coherent summary of the content, as well as the runtime for the video. And if a transcript is available, you will be a hero to msny if you post that as well. Some folks here have limited bandwidth and don't want to waste it watching half a video that either covers information they've already seen, or that it turns out holds no interest for them. And there is a significant group who are speed readers and can read a transcript in a fraction of the time watching a video takes. There are also a few folks who simply can't watch video on their work computers.

    Thanks, and welcome!

    Summerthyme
    Very well-done summary here. This merits permanent posting where everyone can see it.
    Proud member Alt-Right group "Scientists For Trump". (Smart Americans know he's right.)
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