, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 123–139 | Cite as

A cliometric analysis of the Aldo Moro kidnapping and assassination

  • Bertrand Crettez
  • Régis Deloche
Original Paper


In Rome, on 16 March 1978, the Red Brigades kidnapped Aldo Moro. They kept him a prisoner for 55 days, and ultimately killed him. Why did they decide to kill Moro since it appears a posteriori that they did not improve their situation by doing so? Our paper answers this question by building mainly on the model of kidnapping by Selten (A simple game model of kidnapping. In: Henn R, Moeschlin O (eds) Mathematical economics and game theory. Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, vol. 141. Springer, Berlin, pp 139–156, 1977). We develop an integrated game-theoretic model that reliably captures both the problem of kidnapping for some sort of non-monetary ransom and the problem of assassination of prominent political figures. We embed our model within the historical evidence surrounding the Moro case. We show that, in the Moro case, there is a continuum of equilibria implying the death of the hostage.


Kidnapping Game theory Terrorism 

JEL Classification

C72 D74 H56 K41 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economix, UFR SEGMI, University of Paris-Ouest Nanterre La DéfenseNanterreFrance
  2. 2.GEPECSUniversity of Paris-DescartesParisFrance

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