Post-2015 Consensus
Home Menu

The Economics of Violence

What is the biggest source of violence in our world?  Surprisingly, it is not civil war as the news would have most of us believe but domestic abuse.  In this op-ed by Bjorn Lomborg discusses this surprising finding as well as the results from our set of papers focused on conflict and violence for the post-2015 development agenda. 

A study by James Fearon of Stanford University and Anke Hoeffler of Oxford University’s Center for the Study of African Economies argues that societal violence – homicides and especially violence against women and children – is a much bigger problem than civil wars. Nine people are killed in interpersonal violence for every battlefield death in a civil war, and one child is killed for every two combatants who die.

In 2008, there were 418,000 homicides around the world, with far too many countries recording a murder rate of more than 10 per 100,000, which the World Health Organization regards as an epidemic. A single homicide in America costs the individual and society $9.1 million. If we scale this by national income across the world, this single category of violent crime costs 1.7% of global GDP.

Click here to read the entire article on Project Syndicate