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The Monkey Cage

Since it looks as though Andrew Gelman has already announced it, I figure that I’m now allowed to publicize a new political science blog, The Monkey Cage. It’s written by three of my colleagues at GWU, David Park, John Sides, and Lee Sigelman (who’s received previous mention at CT for his groundbreaking collaborative research on Supreme Court Justice betting pools). One interesting post on the costs of wars:

Recent days have brought a shower of media attention to the long-term economic cost of the war in Iraq. … According to Clayton, the pattern of long-term costs associated with American wars indicates that “the bulk of the money is spent long after the fighting stops” — and when Clayton said “long after,” he meant it. The primary reason: veterans benefits, which for the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean War averaged 1.8 times the original cost of the wars themselves.

It would be interesting to know whether this is likely to hold for the Iraq war. Will veterans’ benefits be as costly for an all-volunteer army? Has the ratio of technology costs to manpower costs changed substantially since the earlier wars discussed?

[Crossposted at Crooked Timber.

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