Boston Marathon Bombs: How Much Economic Damage Did They Cause?


After being attacked, it is tough for any American to examine the economic impact incurred. Although the pain and anguish are difficult and important to feel, the economic impact of terrorism is also important to determine. After any terrorist attack, precautions are taken by U.S. cities to facilitate the capture of suspects and safety of citizens. This mass mobilization of resources comes at a great economic cost, as attention is diverted to security and businesses shut down halting economic activity. After the Boston Marathon attack, precautions like these were taken and the economic impact was felt. Much of the Boston Metropolitan area was shut down to facilitate the capture of the Tsarnaev brothers. The area is the nation's ninth largest metropolitan area and boasts a larger economy than some European countries such as Ireland, Greece, and Portugal.

One can foresee that shutting down an area of this economic magnitude comes at high economic cost. The price for such a measure per day amounts to around 333 million dollars, according to Jim Diffley at IHS Global Insight. This estimate is arrived at after deducting from Boston's normal economic production that amounts to around $1 billion per day. This puts authorities under a lot of pressure to facilitate the capture of the suspect in order to allow for the city to continue its economic activity.

Although a notable setback, shutting down a city is not necessarily insurmountable as seen in many previous cases. Most recently, New York City and Washington DC adopted this measure after the attacks on September 11. Both cities were able to overcome these attacks rather quickly, with much credit going to their innate economic activity. Therefore, one is able to conclude that an economy of Boston's magnitude will also be able to overcome such a tragedy. While it is tough to ponder about economic concerns during this time of extreme grief and sadness, it is also important to look forward towards recovery.