Reducing Risks in Wartime Through Capital-Labor Substitution: Evidence from World War II
Kniesner, Thomas J.
MetadataShow full item record
Our research uses data from multiple archival sources to examine substitution among armored (tank-intensive), infantry (troop-intensive), and airborne (also troop-intensive) military units, as well as mid-war reorganizations of each type, to estimate the marginal cost of reducing U.S. fatalities in World War II, holding constant mission effectiveness, usage intensity, and task difficulty. If the government acted as though it equated marginal benefits and costs, the marginal cost figure measures the implicit value placed on soldiers’ lives. Our preferred estimates indicate that infantrymen’s lives were valued in 2009 dollars between $0 and $0.5 million and armored troops’ lives were valued between $2 million and $6 million, relative to the efficient $1 million to $2 million 1940s-era private value of life. We find that the reorganizations of the armored and airborne divisions both increased efficiency, one by reducing costs with little increase in fatalities and the other by reducing fatalities with little increase in costs.
Includes a Web Appendix to "Reducing Risks in Wartime Through Capital-Labor Substitution: Evidence from World War II"A Discussion Paper No. 9260
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Rohlfs, Chris; Sullivan, Ryan (2011-07);This study uses For Official Use Only data on U.S. military operations to evaluate the large-scale Army policies to replace relatively light Type 1 Tactical Wheeled Vehicles (TWVs) with more heavily protected Type 2 variants ...
Applying systems thinking to law enforcement safety: recommendation for a comprehensive safety management framework DeBoard, Maggie A. (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2015-12);Each year, approximately 100,000 police officers experience work-related occupational injuries, and more than 100 are killed on the job, in training accidents, routine operations, and emergency response. Many of these ...
Kniesner, Thomas J.; Leeth, John D.; Sullivan, Ryan S. (2013-11-18);A fundamental tenant of economics is that actions should be evaluated in terms of benefits and costs, including actions aimed at reducing military or civilian casualties. Safety improvements only expand individual or ...