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Economic Consequences of War

May 2, 2012 Comments off

Economic Consequences of War

Source:  Institute for Economics & Peace
The IEP’s latest report,  Economic Consequences of War on the US Economy,  analyses the macroeconomic effects of US government spending on wars and the military.
The report studies five periods – World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Afghanistan/Iraq wars – exposing the effect of war financing on debt, consumption, investment, jobs, taxes, government deficits, and inflation.
The findings of the report show devastating trends for US tax, debt and deficit debates.
The report shows the following economic indicators experiencing negative effects either during or after the conflicts:
    • Public debt and levels of taxation increased during most conflicts
    • Consumption as a percent of GDP decreased during most conflicts
    • Investment as a percent of GDP decreased during most conflicts
    • Inflation increased during or as a direct consequence of these conflicts
The higher levels of government spending associated with war tends to generate some positive economic benefits in the short-term, specifically through increases in economic growth occurring during conflict spending booms. However, negative unintended consequences occur either concurrently with the war or develop as residual effects afterwards thereby harming the economy over the longer term.

+ Full Report (PDF)

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Measuring Peace in the Media 2011

April 25, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Institute for Economics & Peace
Peace and conflict are two of the most newsworthy subjects that can occur but how accurately does the media report on them and are the levels of violence portrayed in countries actually accurate? Media Tenor and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) have come together to jointly create a unique platform that utilizes a fact-based approach for analysing the global media coverage on topics related to peace and conflict.
The aim of this study is to better understand the texture of news coverage and its accuracy. This was achieved by analysing Media Tenor’s extensive database consisting of 164,000 news items. These news items have been compiled from 31 news and current affairs programs that air on four continents. The data was further analysed and broken down by country coverage with news stories from 101 different countries. The aggregated country data was then compared to the Global Peace Index (GPI) so as to rate the accuracy of the coverage.
One of the eight Structures of Peace is the ‘free flow of information’ which is best epitomised by a free press. IEP research has shown that peaceful societies are associated with the extent to which citizens can gain access to information, and whether the media is free and independent. Peaceful countries tend to have free and independent media which disseminates information in a way that leads to greater openness and helps individuals and civil society work together. These elements lead societies to better decision-making and more rational responses in times of crisis. Peaceful societies are better positioned to learn and to adapt and have higher levels of tolerance which in turn enables social resilience.
The role of the media and the tenor and accuracy with which it reports on the events has an important role to play in fostering or hindering the move towards peace through its influence on attitudes and information.

United States Peace Index 2011

May 9, 2011 Comments off

United States Peace Index 2011 (PDF)
Source: Institute for Economics & Peace

The United States Peace Index (USPI) is the first in a series of national peace indices that will build on the work of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) in measuring and understanding the fabric of peace. The Institute produces the Global Peace Index which is the first ever study to methodically rank the nations of the world by their peacefulness and to identify potential drivers of peace. The GPI has become a valued resource and is used by academics, think tanks and governments around the world.

The aim of the U.S. Peace Index is to further the understanding of the types of environments that are associated with peace and to help quantify the economic benefits that could result from increases in peace. It is envisaged that by producing a series of national peace indices using the same methodology across many nations the patterns that are associated with peace will emerge.

In the U.S. there are many benefits that would flow from improvements in peace, either physically, emotionally or socially, but one of the key benefits that is often overlooked is the substantial positive economic impact that even small improvements in peace can have. Violence creates costs for both business and government, it also reduces productivity, which if unleashed will create additional economic growth.

This study estimates that if the U.S. had the same levels of peacefulness as Canada then over 2.7 million additional jobs could be created while also reducing state and federal government expenditures. This report can be seen as a starting point in analyzing the fabric of peace within the U.S. and provides a framework for more detailed studies. The report also analyzes some of the costs associated with violence so as to highlight the substantial economic impact that improvements in peace can have.

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