This paper considers the impact of war and violence from a economic development perspective. The author highlights conceptual issues which have often been disregarded in other costs-of-violence literature and outlines distinctions between bullionist, deadweight and distributive approaches. The paper examines key trends from the existing literature and considers Colombia and Peru as case studies. The author concludes that a more careful approach to the data when assessing the costs of war could assist in understanding how and why war may sometimes lead to patterns of increased growth and welfare in certain cases and could better inform policy interventions.
Working Paper No. 48 (series 2), London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 30 pp.
Working Paper No. 48. Stupid and Expensive? a critique of the costs-of-violence literature.