Vanguard of Science Awards

For the fourth consecutive year, a Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professor's work has been nominated for the "Vanguardia de la Ciencia" awards promoted by La Vanguardia newspaper and Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation. Ruben Durante (UPF and BGSE) has been nominated for "Attack When the World Is Not Watching? U.S. News and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" (with E. Zhuravskaya), forthcoming in the Journal of Political Economy.

From Prof. Durante's interview with La Vanguardia:

Is it possible for politicians to choose the time to carry out unpopular actions to make them coincide with other news that distracts the attention of the media and citizens? To answer this question, the economist Ruben Durante and his colleague Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, from the Paris School of Economics, have analyzed data on all the military attacks that took place in the conflict between Israel and Palestine between 2000 and 2011.

Their results show that the likelihood of an Israeli attack increases the day before predictable big-audience news in the US, such as political elections or major sporting events. In this way, the media is prevented from covering the consequences of the attack the next day with testimonies from the victims. No similar pattern has been observed for Palestinian attacks.

"These results are relevant beyond the conflict between Israel and Palestine," Durante says. "They indicate that politicians plan actions to circumvent the surveillance of the media and not have to render accounts to the citizens."

photo credit: Xavier Cervera / La Vanguardia

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