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How is the rise in national defense spending affecting the Tenth District economy?

  • Chad R. Wilkerson
  • Megan D. Williams

In 2007, the United States spent over $650 billion on national defense. Even after adjusting for inflation, this was the largest annual amount since 1945, surpassing previous post-World War II peaks reached during the Korean, Vietnam, and Cold wars. Defense spending has risen steadily this decade, today accounting for nearly 5 percent of overall gross domestic product—about the same share as residential construction. ; National defense represents an even larger share of economic activity in the Tenth Federal Reserve District. The region is home to some of the country's largest military installations, a number of private defense contractors, and a disproportionately large number of reservists and National Guardsmen. ; Is the buildup in national defense stimulating the economies of the states in the Tenth District? Wilkerson and Williams find that, relative to the nation, increased defense spending is likely to help the region more in the long run than the short run. Since 2001, defense spending has risen more moderately in the district than the nation, due primarily to slower growth in the types of defense activities concentrated in the region. Still, the region is poised for an expansion of defense spending in the future. And the region benefits from a less cyclical defense sector than that of the nation.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (2008)
Issue (Month): Q II ()
Pages: 49-79

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2008:i:qii:p:49-79:n:v.93no.2
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  1. Radha Bhattacharya, 2003. "Sources of variation in regional economies," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 291-302, 05.
  2. Aizenman, Joshua & Glick, Reuven, 2003. "Military Expenditure, Threats, and Growth," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt41r4105h, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  3. Jes�s Crespo Cuaresma & Gerhard Reitschuler, 2006. "'Guns Or Butter?' Revisited: Robustness And Nonlinearity Issues In The Defense-Growth Nexus," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 53(4), pages 523-541, 09.
  4. Landau, Daniel, 1996. "Is one of the 'peace dividends' negative? Military expenditure and economic growth in the wealthy OECD countries," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 183-195.
  5. Linda Bilmes & Joseph Stiglitz, 2006. "The Economic Costs of the Iraq War: An Appraisal Three Years After the Beginning of the Conflict," NBER Working Papers 12054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ram, Rati, 1995. "Defense expenditure and economic growth," Handbook of Defense Economics, in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 251-274 Elsevier.
  7. H. Sonmez Atesoglu, 2004. "Defense spending and investment in the United States," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 163-170, October.
  8. Hooker, Mark A & Knetter, Michael M, 1997. "The Effects of Military Spending on Economic Activity: Evidence from State Procurement Spending," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 400-421, August.
  9. Manuel Trajtenberg, 2003. "Defense R&D Policy in the Anti-terrorist Era," NBER Working Papers 9725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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