30 J.L. & Econ. 1 (1987)
Terrorism in a Bargaining Framework

handle is hein.journals/jlecono30 and id is 5 raw text is: TERRORISM IN A BARGAINING
FRAMEWORK*
SCOTT E. ATKINSON,         TODD SANDLER,
University of Georgia   Iowa State University
and
JOHN TSCHIRHART
University of Wyoming
Few terrorist missions are suicidal. Most terrorist missions are
against so-called soft targets and embody fairly elaborate es-
cape plans. The threat of the political terrorist generally ema-
nates less from his desire for suicide than from his preparation,
both mental and physical, to take hostages and wait out the
dialogue of negotiations.
I. INTRODUCTION
ALTHOUGH hostage seizures are a small percentage of terrorist inci-
dents, they represent some of the most spectacular and influential
events.2 The takeover of the American embassy in Tehran on November
14, 1979, the seizure of eleven OPEC oil ministers on December 21, 1975,
and the capture and killing of nine Israeli athletes on September 5, 1972,
are incidents not easily forgotten. From 1968 through 1982, of the approx-
imately 8,000 reported terrorist events, 540 (7 percent) were transna-
* We thank Robert Cooter, Robert Willig, Stan Winer, Dennis Carlton, and an anony-
mous referee for helpful comments on earlier versions. Any remaining shortcomings are
attributable solely to the authors. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 1985
meeting of the Public Choice Society, New Orleans.
Abraham H. Miller, Hostage Negotiations and the Concept of Transference, in Terror-
ism: Theory and Practice 137, 147 (Yorah Alexander, David Carlton, & Paul Wilkinson eds.
1979).
2 Terrorism has been defined as the premeditated threatened or actual use of force or
violence to attain a political goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation. Charles A. Rus-
sell, Leon J. Banker, & Bowman H. Miller, Out-Inventing the Terrorist, in id. at 3.
[Journal of Law & Economics, vol. XXX (April 1987)]
 1987 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. 0022-2186/87/3001-0002$01.50

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