Capitalism at War

25 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2012

See all articles by Mark Harrison

Mark Harrison

University of Warwick; University of Birmingham

Date Written: October 19, 2011


The nineteenth century witnessed the triumph of capitalism; the twentieth century saw the bloodiest wars in history. Is there a connection? The paper reviews the literature and evidence. It considers first whether capitalism has lowered the cost of war; then, whether capitalism has shown a preference for war. Both questions are considered comparatively. Neither question receives a clear cut answer, but to simplify: Yes; No.

Keywords: Capitalism, Corporate Political Action, Keynesianism, Public Finance, State Capacity, Trade, War

JEL Classification: N4, P1

Suggested Citation

Harrison, Mark, Capitalism at War (October 19, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Mark Harrison (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Department of Economics
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom


University of Birmingham ( email )

Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

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