Long-term Effect of September 11 on the Political Behavior of Victims’ Families and Neighbors


Eitan D. Hersh

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Hersh, Eitan D. (2013) Long-term effect of September 11 on the political behavior of victims’ families and neighbors, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Published online before print December 9, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1315043110
This article investigates the long-term effect of September 11, 2001 on the political behaviors of victims’ families and neighbors. Relative to comparable individuals, family members and residential neighbors of victims have become—and have stayed—significantly more active in politics in the last 12 years, and they have become more Republican on account of the terrorist attacks. The method used to demonstrate these findings leverages the random nature of the terrorist attack to estimate a causal effect and exploits new techniques to link multiple, individual-level, governmental databases to measure behavioral change without relying on surveys or aggregate analysis.
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