Economics of National Security
Friday, Jan. 3, 2020 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM (PDT)
- Chair: Eli Berman, University of California-San Diego
How Do Firms Respond to Insecurity? Evidence from Afghan Phone Records
AbstractWe provide new evidence on how insecurity affects firm behavior by linking data on violent conflict in Afghanistan to geo-stamped corporate mobile phone records. We begin by developing a method for observing firm location choice with phone data, and validate these measurements using independent sources of administrative and survey data. Next, we show that deadly terrorist attacks reduce the presence of firms in targeted districts by 4-6%. The effect includes both an increase in the local exit of existing firms following attacks and a decrease in new rm entry. We find large negative spillovers from attacks in provincial capitals on firm presence in nearby rural districts. After violence, employees in provincial capitals are 33% more likely to move to Kabul and 15% more likely to leave for another province.
Innocent until Stereotyped Guilty? Terrorism and United States Immigration Court Decisions
AbstractWe investigate the impact of terrorist attacks on court decisions made by US immigration judges. We exploit quasi-random variations in the timing of attacks and immigration court hearings, and the random variations in the success or failure of US-based terrorist attacks, finding a significant negative effect of terrorism on asylum approvals. Our results suggest that immigration court judges stereotype asylumseekers as potential terrorists. Such stereotypes seem unique to asylum applicants, as parole approvals do not significantly change after attacks. Applicants from predominantly Muslim, Middle-Eastern and North African countries are disproportionately denied after successful terrorist attacks in the US.
Did the War on Terror Ignite a Veteran Opioid Epidemic?
AbstractMilitary veterans are at ground zero of the U.S. opioid epidemic, facing an overdose rate twice that of civilians. Post-9/11 deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq have exposed servicemembers to injury-related chronic pain, psychological trauma, and cheap opium, all of which may fuel opioid addiction. This study is the first to estimate the impact of military deployments in the Global War on Terrorism on opioid abuse. We exploit a natural experiment in overseas deployment assignments and find that combat service substantially increased the risk of prescription painkiller abuse and illicit heroin use among active duty servicemen. War-related physical injuries, death-related battlefield trauma, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder emerge as important mechanisms. The magnitudes of our estimates imply lower bound combat-induced health care costs of $1.2 to $1.7 billion per year for prescription painkiller abuse and $800 million per year for heroin use.
- H0 - General
- F5 - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy