Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
Location: Eldersveld Room (5670 Haven Hall)
Combat Environment and Long-term Costs of War:
Evidence from Vietnam-Era Twins
Allan Stam, Alex von Hagen-Jamar and Alton Worthington
Measurement of the costs of war borne by civilian populations is a difficult task, and many studies use troop size or military budgets as a measure for the costliness of a given conflict. However, combat also creates long-term costs which are often ignored by the literature. This missing research is salient, given recent evidence that crime in military communities (and among some groups of veterans) is on the rise since the return of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. We investigate the potential link between violent combat and socially- and economically-costly behavior among returning veterans, using data from Vietnam-era twins and behavioral genetics methods. In addition to responding to an existing hypothesis about the link between combat and the rise in crime, we demonstrate that the nature of combat affects the costliness of wars.