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The Economic Costs of the Iraq War: An Appraisal Three Years After the Beginning of the Conflict

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  • Linda Bilmes

    ()

  • Joseph E. Stiglitz

    ()

Abstract

Many aspects of the Iraq venture have turned out differently from what was purported before the war: there were no weapons of mass destruction, no clear link between Al Qaeda and Iraq, no imminent danger that would warrant a pre-emptive war. Whether Americans were greeted as liberators or not, there is evidence that that they are now viewed as occupiers. Stability has not been established. Clearly, the benefits of the War have been markedly different from those claimed. So too for the costs. This paper, in two parts first provides an estimate of the 'direct' expenditures, and provide adjustments to reflect the true social costs of the resources deployed. The second provides an estimate of the macro-economic costs; the effects of the War on the overall performance of the economy, taking into account both the effects of the expenditures themselves and of the increased price of oil, some of which at least should be attributed to the War. Americans could, and should have asked, are there ways of spending that money that would have enhanced our long run well being—and perhaps even our security—more.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:387.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:387

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Related research

Keywords: Iraq; weapons of mass destruction; Al Quaida; Costs of war; West Asia; US; International Affairs; US Foreign Policy; US-Iraq;

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  1. Thomas J. Kniesner & W. Kip Viscusi & Christopher Woock & James P. Ziliak, 2005. "How Unobservable Productivity Biases the Value of a Statistical Life," NBER Working Papers 11659, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rebeca Jimenez-Rodriguez & Marcelo Sanchez, 2005. "Oil price shocks and real GDP growth: empirical evidence for some OECD countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 201-228.
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Cited by:
  1. Sofronis Clerides & Peter Davis & Antonis Michis, 2010. "The Impact of the Iraq War on US Consumer Goods Sales in Arab Countries," Working Paper Series, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis 25_10, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  2. Riccardo Natoli & Segu Zuhair, 2011. "Measuring Progress: A Comparison of the GDP, HDI, GS and the RIE," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 103(1), pages 33-56, August.
  3. Patricia Justino, 2009. "The Impact of Armed Civil Conflict on Household Welfare and Policy Responses," Research Working Papers, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict 12, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
  4. Chad R. Wilkerson & Megan D. Williams, 2008. "How is the rise in national defense spending affecting the Tenth District economy?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 49-79.
  5. Stergios Skaperdas, 2011. "The costs of organized violence: a review of the evidence," Economics of Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-23, March.
  6. Ryan D. Edwards, 2010. "A Review of War Costs in Iraq and Afghanistan," NBER Working Papers 16163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gardeazabal, Javier, 2010. "Methods for Measuring Aggregate Costs of Conflict," DFAEII Working Papers 2010-09, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.

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