U.S. Strategic Stockpile Policy: A Critical Assessment of Anticipatory Government Action

Dresch, S.P. (1984). U.S. Strategic Stockpile Policy: A Critical Assessment of Anticipatory Government Action. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-84-061

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Over the last several decades a number of economists, particularly in North America, have questioned the extent of government regulation and intervention in many economic sectors, claiming that the government often has gone far beyond what is necessary to protect the public and in the process seriously impaired efficiency. These concerns have actually stimulated significant reforms in certain countries, as the recent deregulation of the airline and banking industries in the United States illustrates.

In this study, Stephen Dresch moves further down this path by arguing that the government should leave to the private sector the stockpiling of strategic materials needed in the event of war. He contends that the private sector will be more efficient at this activity, and more likely to accumulate the optimal level of stacks. In addition, he suggests that reliance on private stockpiling may actually reduce the likelihood of war. These conclusions, as the analysis makes clear, depend on a number of assumptions, whose validity many will want to question. But then, the purpose of a working paper is to stimulate discussion and debate, and thereby help the author and others understand their differences and clarify their own thinking.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Mineral Trade and Markets (MIN)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:54
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:11
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/2457

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