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Growing up in the Iran-Iraq War and Preferences for Strong Defense


  • Mohammad Reza Farzanegan

    () (Philipps-Universitaet Marburg)

  • Hassan F. Gholipour

    () (Swinburne University of Technology)


The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of individuals’ memories of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) during early adulthood (18-25 years) on their preference for strong national defense forces and their willingness to fight for Iran (in the event of another war). Using the World Value Survey (WVS) data, we provide evidence that Iranians who experienced the war during early adulthood give top priority to strong defense forces. However, we find that there is no significant association between individuals’ memories of the war during early adulthood and their willingness to fight for Iran. The results are robust, controlling for a set of individuals’ socioeconomic and political characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Mohammad Reza Farzanegan & Hassan F. Gholipour, 2019. "Growing up in the Iran-Iraq War and Preferences for Strong Defense," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201907, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201907

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, 2014. "Military Spending and Economic Growth: The Case of Iran," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 247-269, June.
    2. Ehrmann, Michael & Tzamourani, Panagiota, 2012. "Memories of high inflation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 174-191.
    3. Albalate, Daniel & Bel, Germà & Elias, Ferran, 2012. "Institutional determinants of military spending," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 279-290.
    4. Richard C. Eichenberg & Richard J. Stoll, 2012. "Gender Difference or Parallel Publics? The Dynamics of Defense Spending Opinions in the United States, 1965–2007," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 56(2), pages 331-348, April.
    5. Fuchs-Schundeln, Nicola & Alesina, Alberto, 2007. "Good-Bye Lenin (Or Not?): The Effect of Communism on People's Preferences," Scholarly Articles 4553032, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. repec:sae:compsc:v:34:y:2017:i:3:p:264-286 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Sajjad. F. Dizaji & Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, 2018. "Do sanctions reduce the military spending in Iran?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201831, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
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    More about this item


    Preferences for defense; Iran-Iraq war; Impressionable years hypothesis; Beliefs;

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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