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War! What Is It Good For? A Deep Determinants Analysis of the Cost of Interstate Conflict

Steven Yamarik (), Noel Johnson () and Ryan Compton

Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, 2010, vol. 16, issue 1, 1-35

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 standard deviation increase in fatality-weighted conflict over the period 1960 to 2000 results in an average decrease of about a tenth of a standard deviation in 2000 real GDP per capita.

Date: 2010
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