The Economics of Roadside Bombs

College of William & Mary Department of Economics Working Paper No. 68

19 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2007 Last revised: 7 Feb 2008

See all articles by Matthew A. Hanson

Matthew A. Hanson

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 23, 2008

Abstract

The U.S. military has been criticized for its failure to stop the Iraqi insurgency's use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which have caused most of the Coalition casualties. We use instrumental variables to estimate a microeconomic model of insurgent responses to U.S. military countermeasures. We find that insurgents increase the number of IED attacks when IEDs are made less effective, but that the insurgents' overall capacity to inflict damage decreases. These results suggest that a major benefit of IED countermeasures comes in reducing non-IED attacks, which decrease 2% with every 1% decrease in IED effectiveness. Previous evaluations of the U.S. military's $13 billion counter-IED effort, which have not included its causal impact on non-IED attacks, have significantly understated its success.

Keywords: Iraq War, Instrumental Variables, Income and Substitution Effects, Insurgency

JEL Classification: C32, D74, H56

Suggested Citation

Hanson, Matthew A., The Economics of Roadside Bombs (January 23, 2008). College of William & Mary Department of Economics Working Paper No. 68. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1069541 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1069541

Matthew A. Hanson (Contact Author)

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics ( email )

Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
167
Abstract Views
1,017
rank
191,510
PlumX Metrics