IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Post-War Capital Accumulation and the Threat of Nuclear War

  • Joel Slemrod

The hypothesis of this paper is that the performance and, in particular, the rate of capital accumulation of the post-war U.S. economy has been influenced by the changes in the public perception of the threat of a catastrophic nuclear war. An increased threat shortens the expected horizon of individuals and firms, and thus reduces the willingness to postpone present consumption in favor of investment. The hypothesis is tested by expanding a standard savings function estimation technique to include a measure of the perceived threat of nuclear war. Four alternative measures of the perceived threat are considered, all of which are based on the setting of the clock published monthly in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which reflects the editors' judgment about the likelihood of a nuclear conflict. The tests all support a large and statistically significant impact of the threat of nuclear war on the rate of private saving. These tests are not viewed as conclusive evidence in favor of the economic impact of the perceived threat of nuclear war. Nevertheless, this research suggests that economists may have been overlooking an important source of variation in the post-war, post-nuclear U.S. economy. Conceivably, it could affect not only the private savings rate but also such things as the level of investment in human capital, the level of asset prices, the term structure of interest rates, and the rate of inflation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0887.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0887.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: May 1982
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Slemrod, Joel. "Saving and the Fear of Nuclesar War," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 30, No. 3, Sept. 1986, pp. 403-419.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0887
Note: PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jerry A. Hausman, 1979. "Individual Discount Rates and the Purchase and Utilization of Energy-Using Durables," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 33-54, Spring.
  2. Olson, Mancur & Bailey, Martin J, 1981. "Positive Time Preference," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(1), pages 1-25, February.
  3. Barro, Robert J. & Friedman, James W., 1977. "On Uncertain Lifetimes," Scholarly Articles 3451301, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Michael J. Boskin, 1978. "Taxation, Saving, and the Rate of Interest," NBER Chapters, in: Research in Taxation, pages 3-27 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Boskin, Michael J, 1978. "Taxation, Saving, and the Rate of Interest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages S3-27, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0887. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.