The Guardian (UK)
January 22, 2003

The Myth of the War Economy

by Joseph Stiglitz

War is widely thought to be linked to economic good times. . . .

Today, we know that this is nonsense. The 1990s boom showed that peace is economically far better than war. The Gulf war of 1991 demonstrated that wars can actually be bad for an economy. That conflict contributed mightily to the onset of the recession of 1991 . . .

Investments in education, health, research, and the environment will almost inevitably be crowded out. Accordingly, war will be unambiguously bad in terms of what really counts: ordinary people's standard of living.


Joseph Stiglitz is professor of economics and finance at Columbia University, the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics, and author of Globalization and its Discontents. He was formerly chairman of the council of economic advisers to President Clinton and chief economist at the World Bank.

back button