Review article: Is war necessary for economic growth?

Jurgen Brauer


The article reviews Vernon Ruttan's new book, Is Growth Necessary for Economic Growth? Military Procurement and Technological Development (Oxford University Press, 2006). The subject matter is limited to the post-world war II United States only. Studying six general-purpose technologies emerging from war environments, the book claims that much of the U.S. post-war growth experience can be attributed to them. The reviewer finds that this is not Prof. Ruttan's best work, in part because the underlying research is too casual to support the conclusions drawn.

Full Text:



Brauer, J. 2007. Review of V.W. Ruttan’s “Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?” Economic Development and Cultural Change. (Forthcoming).

Cameron, R. and L.Neal. 2003. A Concise Economic History of the World: From Paleolithic Times to the Present. 4th edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Carillo-Hermosilla, J. and G.C. Unruh. 2006. “Technology Stability and Change: An Integrated Evolutionary Approach.” Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 707-742.

[CEA]. Council of Economic Advisors. 2006. Economic Report of the President, 2006. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Ezell, E.C. 1986. The AK47 Story: Evolution of the Kalashnikov Weapons. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Press.

Licklider, J. 1960. “Man-Computer Symbiosis.” IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, Volume HFE-1, (March), pp. 4-11. [accessed 20 September 2006]

Milward, A.S. 1977. War, Economy and Society, 1939-1945. Berkeley, CA:University of California Press.

Olson, M. 1982. The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Rip, A. and R. Kemp. 1998. “Technological Change,” pp. 327-400 in S. Rayner and E.L. Malone, eds. Human Choice and Climate Change vol. 2 (Resources and Technology). Washington, DC: Batelle Press.

Ruttan, V.W. 2006. Is War Necessary for Economic Growth? Military Procurement and Technology Development. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ruttan, V.W. 2001. Technology, Growth, and Development: An Induced Innovation Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.

van Creveld, M. 1989. Technology and War: From 2000 B.C. to the Present. New York: Free Press.

Wikipedia. 2006. “Zeppelin.” [accessed 19 September 2006].



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.