December, 2014

A Hidden Cost of War

The Impact of Mobilizing Reserve Troops on Emergency Response Times
  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Abigail Hall

    Associate Professor of Economics at Bellarmine University
  • Patrick McLaughlin

    Senior Research Fellow
  • Ann Zerkle

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Find article at Springer Link.

This paper analyzes a hidden cost of war: the effect of the mass mobilization of reserve troops on the response times of domestic emergency services to accidents. We provide a statistical examination of this linkage following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and find that mobilization significantly increases response times to accidents in the United States. These mobilization-related costs are exacerbated by both legal restrictions and issues of replacing highly specialized human capital.