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War! What is it Good for?

BE Press: Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, Vol. 16, No. 1

Posted: 1 Apr 2009 Last revised: 20 Mar 2012

Ryan A. Compton

University of Manitoba

Noel D. Johnson

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Steven Yamarik

California State University, Long Beach - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 25, 2009

Abstract

Whatever gains may come from fighting wars, economic growth is not among them. We examine the long-run impact of interstate conflict on real GDP per capita for a cross section of countries between 1960 and 2000. We construct a fatality-weighted conflict variable that accounts for both the severity and endogeneity of individual confrontations. We include our conflict measure in a deep determinants income regression in which we control for trade, institutions and geography. We find that a 10 percent increase in fatality-weighted conflict over the period 1960 to 2000 results in an average decrease of 1.2 to 1.6 percent in 2000 real GDP per capita.

Keywords: Conflict, War, Growth

JEL Classification: D74, F51, O10

Suggested Citation

Compton, Ryan A. and Johnson, Noel D. and Yamarik, Steven, War! What is it Good for? (March 25, 2009). BE Press: Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, Vol. 16, No. 1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1080947 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1080947

Ryan A. Compton

University of Manitoba ( email )

501 Fletcher Argue Bldg
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3R3B1
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~compton

Noel D. Johnson (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Steven Yamarik

California State University, Long Beach - Department of Economics ( email )

1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90840-4607
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.csulb.edu/~syamarik

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