Measuring the Economic Effects of Military Base Closures
Mark A. Hooker, Michael M. Knetter
NBER Working Paper No. 6941
Quite often, policy changes that are seen as welfare-improving at the national level encounter significant resistance in localities where the policies are implemented. Defense spending cuts and international trade agreements are classic examples. However, there is little systematic evidence on the magnitude of economic costs that fall on adversely affected communities. In this paper, we use a newly constructed dataset to analyze the county-level employment and personal income effects resulting from closures of military bases during 1971 - 1994. Our estimated multipliers are mostly less than one, and considerably smaller than those typically used in economic impact studies. We find that the employment costs are mostly limited to the direct job loss associated with military transfers out of the region, and per-capita income is little affected by closures on average.
Published: With Mariko Sakakibara of the Anderson Graduate School of Management, Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. XLVI, no.2 (June 1998).