Psychological Costs of War
May 28, 2011 7:04 PM Subscribe
posted by scunning (10 comments total)
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New working paper
by three economists estimates the psychological costs of war at between $1.5 and $2.7 billion.
A relatively new working paper by Resul Cesar (UConn and Georgia State University), Joseph Sabia (San Diego State and United States Military Academy) and Erdal Tekin (Georgia State University) attempt to answer two questions. First, does exposure to military violence of various types cause
psychological harm, or is it merely some type of endogenous correlation? And secondly, if so, what is the estimated mental health costs of war? Better to just post the abstract than summarize:
: While descriptive evidence suggests that deployment in the Global War on Terrorism is associated with adverse mental health, the causal effect of combat is not well established. Using data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we exploit exogenous variation in deployment assignment and find that soldiers deployed to combat zones where they engage in frequent enemy firefight or witness allied or civilian deaths
are at substantially increased risk for suicidal ideation, psychological counseling, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
. Our estimates imply lower-bound health care costs of $1.5 to $2.7 billion for combat-induced PTSD.