- Consulting Editors
- The Oxford Handbook of The Economics of Peace and Conflict
- Economic Perspectives on Peaceand Conflict
- Informational Aspects of Conflict
- Commitment Problems and Shifting Poweras a Cause of Conflict
- Bargaining and Conflict with Incomplete Information
- The Hobbesian Trap
- Religion, Conflict, and Cooperation
- Comparing Polarization Measures
- Inequality, Polarization, and Conflict
- On the Causes of Civil War
- Reflections on Africa’s Wars
- Methods For Measuring Aggregate Costs Of Conflict
- How Many Bucks in a Bang: On the Estimation of the Economic Costs of Conflict
- Estimating the Costs of War: Methodological Issues, with Applications to Iraq and Afghanistan
- Estimating the Human Costs of War: The Sample Survey Approach
- Mental Health In The Aftermath Of Conflict
- Measuring the Economic Costs of Terrorism
- Assessing the Effects of Military Expenditures on Growth
- The Economic Welfare Cost of Conflict: An Empirical Assessment
- Technologies of Conflict
- Endogenous Formation of Alliances in Conflicts
- Conflicts with Multiple Battlefields
- Laboratory Experiments on Conflict
- War, Trade, and Natural Resources: A Historical Perspective
- Trade in the Shadow of Power
- Conflict and Policy in General Equilibrium: Insights from a Standard Trade Model
- The Use of Coercion in Society: Insecure Property Rights, Conflict, and Economic Backwardness
- War and Poverty
- Aggressive Elites and Vulnerable Entrepreneurs: Trust and Cooperation in the Shadow of Conflict
- Globalization and International Conflict: Can Foreign Direct Investment Increase Cooperation Among Nations?
- National Borders, Conflict and Peace
- Political Institutions and War Initiation: The Democratic Peace Hypothesis Revisited
- Why Follow the Leader? Collective Action, Credible Commitment, and Conflict
- Conflict-Inhibiting Norms
Abstract and Keywords
This article provides updated estimates of the costs of the Iraq war and the Afghanistan wars. With all the caveats that one can apply, the current estimate of the cost of the two wars falls between $4 and $6 trillion. In addition to the known costs of conducting current and future military operations, caring for war veterans, and macroeconomic impacts, the most sobering costs of the Iraq conflict are in the category of opportunity costs. In the absence of the Iraq invasion, would the United States be mired for so long in Afghanistan? Would oil prices have risen so rapidly? Would the U.S. federal debt be so high? Would the economic crisis have been so severe? This article argues that the answer to all four of these questions is no.
Joseph E. Stiglitz, Columbia University, USA
Linda J. Bilmes is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
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