Castles, Battles, and Bombs : How Economics Explains Military History

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-09-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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Castles, Battles, and Bombsreconsiders key episodes of military history from the point of view of economicswith dramatically insightful results. For example, when looked at as a question of sheer cost, the building of castles in the High Middle Ages seems almost inevitable: though stunningly expensive, a strong castle was far cheaper to maintain than a standing army. The authors also reexamine the strategic bombing of Germany in World War II and provide new insights into France's decision to develop nuclear weapons. Drawing on these examples and more, Brauer and Van Tuyll suggest lessons for today's military, from counterterrorist strategy and military manpower planning to the use of private military companies in Afghanistan and Iraq. "In bringing economics into assessments of military history, [the authors] also bring illumination. . . . [The authors] turn their interdisciplinary lens on the mercenary arrangements of Renaissance Italy; the wars of Marlborough, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon; Grant's campaigns in the Civil War; and the strategic bombings of World War II. The results are invariably stimulating."Martin Walker,Wilson Quarterly "This study is serious, creative, important. As an economist I am happy to see economics so professionally applied to illuminate major decisions in the history of warfare."Thomas C. Schelling, Winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics

Author Biography

Jurgen Brauer is professor of economics in the James M. Hull College of Business at Augusta State University and the author of Arms Trade and Economic Development. Hubert P. van Tuyll is professor of history and chair of the Department of History, Anthropology, and Philosophy at Augusta State University. He is the author of The Netherlands and World War I. 

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tablesp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Economicsp. 1
Economicsp. 6
Opportunity Costp. 11
Expected Marginal Costs and Benefitsp. 15
Substitutionp. 20
Diminishing Marginal Returnsp. 24
Asymmetric Information and Hidden Characteristicsp. 27
Hidden Actions and Incentive Alignmentsp. 33
Conclusion: Econimics-and Military Historyp. 39
The High Middle Ages, 1000-1300: The Case of the Medieval Castle and the Opportunity Cost of Warfarep. 45
Opportunity Cost and Warfarep. 49
The Ubiquity of Castlesp. 51
The Cost of Castlingp. 53
The Advantages of Castlesp. 59
The Cost of Armiesp. 66
Castle Building and the Other Principles of Economicsp. 72
Conclusionp. 76
The Renaissance, 1300-1600: The Case of the Condottieri and the Military Labor Marketp. 80
The Principal-Agent Problemp. 83
Demand, Supply, and Recruitmentp. 85
Contracts and Payp. 89
Control and Contract Evolutionp. 100
The Development of Permanent Armiesp. 104
Condottieri and the Other Principles of Economicsp. 114
Conclusionp. 117
The Age of Battle, 1618-1815: The Case of Costs, Benefits, and the Decision to Offer Battlep. 119
Expected Marginal Costs and Benefits of Battlep. 122
The 1600s: Gustavus Adolphus and Raimondo de Montecuccolip. 127
The 1700s: Marlborough, de Saxe, and Frederick the Greatp. 137
Napoleonic Warfarep. 147
The Age of Battle and the Other Principles of Economicsp. 154
Conclusionp. 157
The Age of Revolution, 1789-1914: The Case of the American Civil War and the Economics of Information Asymmetryp. 159
Information and Warfarep. 163
North, South, and the Search for Informationp. 165
Major Eastern Campaigns through Gettysburgp. 168
Grant in Virginiap. 181
The American Civil War and the Other Principles of Economicsp. 190
Conclusionp. 194
The Age of the World Wars, 1914-1945: The Case of Diminishing Marginal Returns to the Strategic Bombing of Germany in World War IIp. 197
A Strategic Bombing Production Functionp. 201
Bombing German War Productionp. 207
Bombing the Supply Chain and the Civilian Economyp. 213
Bombing German Moralep. 219
Assessing the Effect of Strategic Bombingp. 224
Strategic Bombing and the Other Principles of Economicsp. 227
Conclusionp. 235
The Age of the Cold War, 1945-1991: The Case of Capital-Labor Substitution and France's Force de Frappep. 244
History of the Force de Frappep. 248
The Force Post-De Gaullep. 257
Justifying the Forcep. 260
The Force's Effect on France's Conventional Armsp. 267
Substituting Nuclear for Conventional Forcesp. 272
The Force de Frappe and the Other Principles of Economicsp. 282
Conclusionp. 285
Economics and Military History in the Twenty-first Centuryp. 287
Economics of Terrorismp. 289
Economics of Military Manpowerp. 298
Economics of Private Military Companiesp. 307
Economics, Historiography, and Military Historyp. 319
Conclusionp. 322
Notesp. 329
Referencesp. 367
Indexp. 387
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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