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Growth, Political Instability and the Defence Burden

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  • Blomberg, S Brock

Abstract

The author develops and tests a model to examine the economic effects of political instability and military expenditure. Defense plays three important roles in the model: (1) it provides insurance against political instability; (2) it augments the human capital stock by training the labour force; but (3) it comes at the expense of consumption. The resulting theory predicts that increased political instability or increased defense can inhibit economic growth. Using panel data, the author finds that increases in political instability do decrease growth while increases in defense do decrease political instability. I also find that increases in defense have a direct negative effect on growth, although the relation is weak. Copyright 1996 by The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Suggested Citation

  • Blomberg, S Brock, 1996. "Growth, Political Instability and the Defence Burden," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(252), pages 649-672, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:63:y:1996:i:252:p:649-72
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    2. Alesina, Alberto & Özler, Sule & Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael D. Stroup & Jac C. Heckelman, 2001. "Size Of The Military Sector And Economic Growth: A Panel Data Analysis Of Africa And Latin America," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 4, pages 329-360, November.
    2. Fic, Tatiana & Ghate, Chetan, 2005. "The welfare state, thresholds, and economic growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 571-598, May.
    3. Asea, Patrick K. & Blomberg, Brock, 1998. "Lending cycles," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1-2), pages 89-128.
    4. Sefa Awaworyi & Siew Ling Yew, 2014. "The Effect of Military Expenditure on Growth: An Empirical Synthesis," Monash Economics Working Papers 25-14, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    5. d’Agostino, Giorgio & Dunne, J. Paul & Pieroni, Luca, 2016. "Government Spending, Corruption and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 190-205.
    6. Alptekin, Aynur & Levine, Paul, 2012. "Military expenditure and economic growth: A meta-analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 636-650.
    7. S. Brock Blomberg & Gregory D. Hess, 2006. "How Much Does Violence Tax Trade?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 599-612, November.
    8. Ali Kutan & Su Zhou, 1995. "Sociopolitical instability, volatility, and the bid-ask spread: Evidence from the free market for dollars in Poland," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 225-236, July.
    9. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1994. "The Political Economy of Growth: A Critical Survey of the Recent Literature," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 351-371, September.
    10. Jong-A-Pin, Richard, 2009. "On the measurement of political instability and its impact on economic growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 15-29, March.
    11. Janmaat, John A & Ruijs, Arjan, 2006. "Investing in Arms to Secure Water," MPRA Paper 10667, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Gilli, Mario & Li, Yuan, 2015. "Coups, revolutions and efficient policies in autocracies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 109-124.

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