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    The economic costs of military conflict

    Smith, Ron P. (2014) The economic costs of military conflict. Journal of Peace Research 51 (2), pp. 245-256. ISSN 0022-3433.

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    There is a large literature on the economic costs of military conflict, which uses a variety of methods including accounting procedures, statistical models and event studies of how stock markets respond to news of conflict. This literature is not only subject to all the criticisms directed against cost–benefit analysis but also introduces an element of arbitrariness by not considering benefits. This article uses four questions to structure a discussion of the calculation of conflict costs. The first concerns the purpose of the calculation: why is it being done? The second concerns the counterfactual: what comparison is being made? The third concerns the data: where do the numbers come from? The fourth concerns aggregation and valuation: how are the elements of costs (over outcomes, time and individuals) combined? The literature is often not clear on the answers to these questions, tending to take them for granted. However, the answers are crucial to the calculation and are not merely technical matters but rest on both the underlying objective of the calculation and fundamental philosophical and ethical judgements.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): conflict, economic costs, war
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Applied Macroeconomics, Birkbeck Centre for, Innovation Management Research, Birkbeck Centre for
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2013 13:41
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:07


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