Article

Estimating the Human Costs of War: The Sample Survey Approach

Michael Spagat

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392777
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195392777.013.0014

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Estimating the Human Costs of War: The Sample Survey Approach

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This article reviews sample survey methods for estimating the number of war-related deaths. That different surveys using seemingly similar methodologies have produced widely differing estimates of Iraq war deaths has made this method somewhat controversial. The existing literature focuses strongly on death, perhaps because this is the most dramatic human cost of war. The article identifies a number of factors to consider in evaluating conflict surveys, including sampling procedures, mechanisms for ensuring the integrity of the data-collection process, the appropriateness of extrapolations, and the setting of baselines in the case of excess-death calculations.

Keywords: war-related deaths; Iraq war; conflict surveys; survey sampling; excess-death calculations

Article.  11028 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Public Economics ; Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General

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