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Benefits and Costs of the Conflict and Violence Targets for the Post-2015 Development Agenda

By: James Fearon, Anke Hoeffler

This paper breaks new ground in estimating the global costs of violence. It shows that the costs of collective, interpersonal violence, harsh child discipline, intimate partner violence and sexual abuse represent 11% of worldwide GDP. Interestingly, the types of violence that are most costly to society are ones that tend to attract less attention, in both development spending and public imagination. Violence in the home is 6.5 times more costly than homicide, and 50 times more costly than civil war. The authors argue that domestic abuse of women and children should no longer be regarded as a private matter but a public health concern and that more aid should be flowing to programs to address violent crime and abuse.