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The determinants of military spending in the academic literature over the last fifty years: A survey of the main contributions and models


  • Miguel Angel Alonso Neira

    () (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)

  • Antonio Martínez González

    () (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)


Although it is difficult to establish a classification of the models which analyze the determinants of defence expenditure due to their great heterogeneity, the present article takes as a starting point the contributions of Smith (1989) and Dunne and Perlo-Freeman (2003a y 2003b), to offer an alternative taxonomy of the theoretical studies proposed in the academic literature over the last fifty years. In particular, it establishes a division in three blocks: 1) Analysis of the external influences of military spending (models of arms races and economic theory of military alliances), 2) examination of the internal factors that reverberate on the design of the defense budget (Bureaucratic and Organizational Politics Models), and 3) empirical studies of the determinants of defence spending, which examine the effects of a wide combination of economic, political, and geostrategic variables on the military budget.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel Angel Alonso Neira & Antonio Martínez González, 2008. "The determinants of military spending in the academic literature over the last fifty years: A survey of the main contributions and models," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 187(4), pages 109-139, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2008:v:187:i:4:p:109-139

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman, 2004. "Explaining the differences in income-related health inequalities across European countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 609-628.
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    More about this item


    Defence economics; arms races; models of military alliances; organizational politics models; determinants of military spending.;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War


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