• AEA in the news
  • December 18, 2015

Political risks: Punches, eggs and assassination attempts

A U.S. Secret Service vehicle near the White House, Washington, D.C., May 13, 2012.

Oleg Kozyrev/Bigstock

BBC News covered an article in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics that takes a historical look at assassination attempts. In Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War, authors Benjamin Jones and Benjamin Olken find evidence that assassinations have had an impact on the growth of democracy and increased the intensity of wars, but also that successful assassination attempts are becoming more rare. The risk of assassination for heads of state peaked about 100 years ago but has fallen 70% since then.