Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

The Cost of 9/11

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

The Cost of 9/11

Article excerpt

THE SOURCE: "The Economic Impacts of the September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attacks" edited by S. Brock Blomberg and Adam Z. Rose, in Peace Economies, Peace Science, and Public Policy, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2009.

HOW MANY PEOPLE DIED AS A result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 20017 Most sources now settle on the figure of 2,975, but too many imponderables confound a perfect determination. For example, do you count the man who died later of lung cancer after breathing debris from New York's ruined World Trade Center?

How much harder it is to tally the economic impact of 9/11. The online journal Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy put the question to eight research teams and individuals. They were told to leave aside the cost of remedial action at the World Trade Center site, heightened homeland security that has left government and industry buildings ringed with bollards and patrolled by armed guards, and military actions overseas. Nonetheless, some of the findings are surprising.

Nearly all the researchers came back with results that pegged the cost to the national economy (in 2006 dollars) at between $35 billion and $109 billion--about 0.5 percent to 1 percent of GDP. That is much less than some earlier estimates, which ranged as high as $500 billion. …

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