"The Economic Consequences of a War with Iraq,"

by William D. Nordhaus, Yale University, November 2002


         The drums of war are beating as United States marches, two steps forward and one step backwards, toward war with Iraq....

    But what of the costs? ... If the casualty estimates were in the thousands or tens of thousands, if the costs to the economy were major tax increases or high inflation or deep recession, and if the United States were to become a pariah in the world because of brutal attacks on civilian populations, then decision makers in the White House and the Congress might not post so expeditiously to battle.

    Given the salience of cost, it is surprising that there has been no systematic public analysis of the economics of the coming conflict in Iraq. This essay is written in an attempt to fill the gap.

Selected parts of this essay will be published in The New York Review of Books, November 2002. The complete study is available in electronic form. For a MS Word version, click here . For a pdf version, click here .

The technical appendix on the oil market is available, click here .