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An Analysis of Economic Warfare

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  • Jeffrey Clemens

Abstract

I develop a framework for assessing economic warfare, which describes efforts to undermine adversaries' sources of income. The ability to target adversarial market participants is a primary determinant of the success of such efforts, as is the elasticity of demand in the relevant market. An application of the framework to US efforts to suppress the Afghan opium trade yields pessimistic results. Inelastic demand and poorly targeted enforcement have led these efforts to increase the drug trade resources flowing toward the Taliban.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Clemens, 2013. "An Analysis of Economic Warfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 523-527, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:523-27
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.523
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/may2013/P2013_2410_ds.zip
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christopher Foote & William Block & Keith Crane & Simon Gray, 2004. "Economic Policy and Prospects in Iraq," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 47-70, Summer.
    2. Jeffrey A. Miron & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1995. "The Economic Case against Drug Prohibition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 175-192, Fall.
    3. James D. Hamilton, 2009. "Understanding Crude Oil Prices," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 179-206.
    4. Eli Berman & Michael Callen & Joseph H. Felter & Jacob N. Shapiro, 2011. "Do Working Men Rebel? Insurgency and Unemployment in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Philippines," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(4), pages 496-528, August.
    5. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Michael Grossman, 2006. "The Market for Illegal Goods: The Case of Drugs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 38-60, February.
    6. Jeffrey Clemens, 2008. "Opium in Afghanistan: Prospects for the Success of Source Country Drug Control Policies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 407-432, August.
    7. Miron, Jeffrey A, 2001. "Violence, Guns, and Drugs: A Cross-Country Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 615-633, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Reza Oladi & John Gilbert, 2015. "International Narcotics Trade, Foreign Aid, And Enforcement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(3), pages 1630-1646, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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