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Preliminary Evidence on the Allocation of U.S. Army Deaths from Operation Iraqi Freedom


  • Richard Cebula
  • Michael Toma


Political influence on the use of the nation's war-making resources is considered in this study. Given the ‘tax-like’ consequences arising from military fatalities, rational political agents may engage in behavior that minimizes the negative electoral consequences resulting from the fatalities. An empirical model of the state-by-state allocation of U.S. Army fatalities resulting from Operation Iraqi Freedom is developed and tested. The results suggest that political influence originating in the White House is present in the allocation of fatalities from the military action in Iraq, but that Congressional effects, if any, are much weaker. In particular, population-adjusted fatality rates are lower in states that were highly contested ‘battleground’ states rich in Electoral College votes in the 2004 Presidential election. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Cebula & Michael Toma, 2006. "Preliminary Evidence on the Allocation of U.S. Army Deaths from Operation Iraqi Freedom," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 34(1), pages 3-14, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:34:y:2006:i:1:p:3-14
    DOI: 10.1007/s11293-006-6115-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wright, Gavin, 1974. "The Political Economy of New Deal Spending: An Econometric Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 30-38, February.
    2. Thomas A. Garrett & Russell S. Sobel, 2003. "The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 496-509, July.
    3. Crain, W Mark & Messenheimer, Harold C & Tollison, Robert D, 1993. "The Probability of Being President," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(4), pages 683-689, November.
    4. Stroup, Michael D, 1998. "Some Evidence of Congressional Political Markets in DOD Personnel Allocations across States," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3-4), pages 241-254, March.
    5. Grier, Kevin B & McDonald, Michael & Tollison, Robert D, 1995. "Electoral Politics and the Executive Veto: A Predictive Theory," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 427-440, July.
    6. Marilyn Young & Michael Reksulak & William F. Shughart, 2001. "The Political Economy of the IRS," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 201-220, July.
    7. Michael Stroup, 1998. "Some evidence of congressional political markets in DOD personnel allocations across states," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 241-254, March.
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    More about this item


    D78; H5;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies


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