This paper makes two contributions to the literature on terrorism: 1) It presents a model that explains the cyclical characteristics of terrorist attacks, and 2) It improves on the existing theoretical cyclical models since it takes explicitly into account terrorists motivations and decision-making. The model assumes that the government acts as leader and terrorists as followers. Terrorists maximize terrorist acts over time constrained by their budget constraint, which yields a time path for terrorist activities. Then the government maximizes national security by taking the time path of terrorist activities and investments in enforcement as constraints. The model shows that permanent cyclical paths for enforcement, terrorist activities, terrorist capital and national security may arise as an optimal solution.
SNDE recognizes that advances in statistics and dynamical systems theory can increase our understanding of economic and financial markets. The journal seeks both theoretical and applied papers that characterize and motivate nonlinear phenomena. Researchers are required to assist replication of empirical results by providing copies of data and programs online. Algorithms and rapid communications are also published.