War has long been viewed as a boon to economy. But in the last decades, economists and researchers have been making the case for “peace economics,” finding that economics can be used to prevent violence and war.
From Pacific Standard:
In the last decade, researchers and economists from all over the world have made great gains in the nascent field of peace economics. They’re finding that violence and war are terrible for the economy, but also that we can use economics to prevent them.
The most recent study published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) found that violence cost the world $9.46 trillion in 2012 alone. That’s 11 percent of gross world product. By comparison, the cost of the financial crisis was just 0.5 percent of the 2009 global economy.
JURGEN BRAUER AND JOHN Paul Dunne, editors of The Economics of Peace and Security Journal and co-authors of Peace Economics, define “peace economics” as “the economic study and design of political, economic, and cultural institutions, their interrelations, and their policies to prevent, mitigate, or resolve any type of latent or actual violence or other destructive conflict within and between societies.” In other words, how does peace affect the economy, how does the economy affect peace, and how can we use economic methods to better understand them both? These are not new topics for economics, Brauer says. But the research questions have usually used the word “war” instead of “peace.”