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Press Release

Alan B. Krueger to discuss the economics
and roots of Terrorism December 2

Alan B. Krueger, Bendheim Professor of Economic Studies and Public Policy, and director of the Survey Research Center at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University will present a public lecture entitled, "Misunderestimating Terrorism: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism," at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 2, 2004 in Room 101 at the Friend Center on the Princeton University campus.

Dr. Krueger will discuss his research and findings thus far on the factors and dynamics that lead individuals to participate in terrorism. He will present evidence that disputes the notion that these people are from impoverished, uneducated environments, and point to data indicating that in fact, the opposite is true. Dr. Krueger will also discuss his ongoing efforts to develop more definitive measures and tools to enable a fine tuned understanding of fanatical behavior.

In his talk, Krueger will underscore the importance of conducting comprehensive social science research on the components that characterize terrorism, and point to the critical need for the compilation of credible data, data analysis and terrorist activity tracking, as essential to the development of effective counter terrorism strategies and assessment of progress.

Krueger's talk stems in part from his analysis of the State Department's 2003 annual report on global terrorism, which he conducted with colleague David Laitin, Watkins professor of political science of Stanford University. Released in April of 2004, the report cited data that spoke to a decline in terrorist attacks. Krueger and Laitin however, found a number of statistical inaccuracies that, if presented correctly, would have showed an actual increase in "significant attacks."

Dr. Krueger's expertise and primary areas of research interests are in labor economics, industrial relations, education, and social insurance. He has held his dual appointment in the Economics Department at Princeton University since 1987.

From 1994 to 1995 Krueger served as chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor. In 1992, he was named a Sloan Fellow in Economics, an NBER Olin Fellow in 1989-90, and awarded the Kershaw Prize by the Association for Policy Management in 1997. Krueger was elected a Fellow of the Econometric Society in 1996, and was the recipient of the Mahalanobis Memorial Medal by the Indian Econometric Society in 2001. Dr. Krueger did his undergraduate work at Cornell University, and received his master's and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Dr. Krueger is the author of Education Matters: A Selection of Essays on Education, and co-author of Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage. He is co- editor of the Journal of European Economic Association, a member of the Science editorial board, and a monthly contributor, writing on the economic landscape, for The New York Times.

This lecture is part of the Princeton University President's Lecture series. It is free and open to the public.