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A new study by two leading academic experts suggests that the costs 
of the Iraq war will be substantially higher than previously reckoned. 
In a paper presented to this week's Allied Social Sciences Association 
annual meeting in Boston MA., Harvard budget expert Linda Bilmes and 
Columbia University Professor and Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz 
calculate that the war is likely to cost the United States a minimum of 
nearly one trillion dollars and potentially over $2 trillion.

The study expands on traditional budgetary estimates by including 
costs such as lifetime disability and health care for the over
16,000 injured, one fifth of whom have serious brain or spinal 
injuries. It then goes on to analyze the costs to the economy, 
including the economic value of lives lost and the impact of 
factors such as higher oil prices that can be partly attributed to 
the conflict in Iraq. The paper also calculates the impact on the
economy if a proportion of the money spent on the Iraq war were 
spent in other ways, including on investments in the United States

“Shortly before the war, when Administration economist Larry Lindsey
suggested that the costs might range between $100 and $200 billion, 
Administration spokesmen quickly distanced themselves from those 
numbers,” points out Professor Stiglitz. “But in retrospect, it appears 
that Lindsey's numbers represented a gross underestimate of the actual 

The Allied Social Sciences Association meeting is attended by the 
nation's leading economists and social scientists. It is sponsored 
jointly by the American Economic Association and the Economists for 
Peace and Security.
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