I’ve written a bit before about the indirect effects of terrorism. For example, a French study revealed that, in the weeks following a major terrorist incident, admissions to hospitals for cardiac-related problems increased significantly.
The likelihood is that more people are dying from the effects of heightened stress levels following an attack than were killed in the original incident.
A report recently published by the European Union (strangely, but appropriately, named The Cost of Non-Europe Report) tells us more about the indirect effects of terrorism.
Terrorism is economically damaging. As well as the destruction of physical infrastructure, terrorist incidents have a dampening effect on investment and economic growth.
“...from 2004 to 2016 the total cost from losses in human and physical capital as well as
reduced economic growth across the EU-28 member states amounts to about €185bn.”
In the UK, the total cost of terrorism amounted to almost €45 billion.
This is something to be borne in mind the next time politicians are trying to sell us on the idea that immigration brings economic benefits.
But the damaging effects of terrorism are not purely economic.
Using similar econometric regression methods to those used to assess the relationship between terrorism and economic growth, we examined the associations between terrorism activity and the average levels of reported life satisfaction, happiness and trust (interpersonal and institutional) within EU member states. Similarly to previous work by Frey at al. (2007), our findings suggest that the greater the number of terror attacks in a given year, the lower the average self-reported life satisfaction and happiness of EU citizens.
Also, much like Robert Putnam’s study into the effects of diversity, it was found that terrorism reduces trust levels within a society, both interpersonal trust and trust felt towards national institutions.
Furthermore, similarly to Blomberg et al. (2011), we find that the more terrorism activity there is within a country the less likely EU citizens report that they can trust another person, and thus terrorism may have a negative impact on interpersonal trust. Analysis of data from the ESS shows that terrorism is associated with lower levels of citizen trust in national political institutions such as the national parliament, politicians in general, the legal system and the police.
The data reveals that immigration, and the terrorism it brings with it, is having a corrosive effect on almost every aspect of European society. Meanwhile, politicians say we need more of it.