Bargain like a Somali: How to negotiate with pirates in the Horn of Africa

A paper by my coauthor Anja Shortland and her collaborators is featured in this week's The Economist. They use a unique dataset of 179 Somali hijackings to analyze ransom patterns. Among other things, they find that Somali pirates and ship owners push for speedy resolutions. It is a significant cost for pirates to hold a ship (the crew must be fed, the ship guarded and pirates need their supply of qat). Although the number of ships taken is down, the pirates have adjusted by charging more per release. As The Economist writes, another finding is that there are signs that pirates are moving inland, grabbing aid workers and other foreigners far from the guns of the US Navy.

In case you feel inspired to read more on the topic, our paper is here.

"Un'analisi profonda"

Roberto Saviano, Repubblica

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