Mike Strasser/Flickr

经济学家的战争与和平指导

纽约—冲突报道充斥着当今新闻标题:不管是叙利亚内战、乌克兰巷战、尼日利亚恐怖主义还是巴西警察镇压,可怕的直接暴力历历在目。但是,尽管评论者大谈地缘战略、考虑因素、威慑、种族冲突以及夹缝中的普通人的困境,但很少听到有人冷静探讨冲突的关键角度——其经济成本。

暴力是有价格的。2012年遏制暴力或处理其后果的全球成本高达令人咋舌的9.5万亿美元(相当于全球GDP的11%),是全球农业部门规模的两倍多,也大大高于对外援助支出。

从这些巨大的数字看,决策者合理地分析这笔钱如何花、划在哪里以及如何降低它的总量是至关重要的。不幸的是,这些问题极少获得严肃的思考。在很大程度上,这是因为军事运动通常受地缘战略因素而不是金融逻辑刺激。尽管伊拉克战争的反对者会指责美国垂涎伊拉克的油田,但这场战争至少在经济上并不划算。越南战争和其他冲突也都是金融灾难。

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