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Loyalty for sale? Military spending and coups d’etat

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  • Gabriel Leon

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Abstract

Coups d’etat continue to be common around the world, often leading to changes in leaders and institutions. We examine the relationship between military spending and coups and find that (i) successful coups increase military spending by more than failed attempts, and (ii) coups are more likely when military spending as a share of GDP is relatively low. Our identification strategy deals with the problem of reverse causality between coups and military spending by exploiting the conditional independence between a coup’s outcome and the change in military spending that follows it. We interpret our results as evidence that the military may stage coups in order to increase its funding, and rule out several alternative explanations. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriel Leon, 2014. "Loyalty for sale? Military spending and coups d’etat," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 363-383, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:159:y:2014:i:3:p:363-383
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-013-0124-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Gassebner & Jerg Gutmann & Stefan Voigt, 2016. "When to expect a coup d’état? An extreme bounds analysis of coup determinants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 169(3), pages 293-313, December.
    2. Vincenzo Bove & Roberto Nisticò, 2014. "Coups d’état and defense spending: a counterfactual analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 321-344, December.
    3. Brauner Jennifer, 2012. "Military Spending and Democratisation," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(3), pages 1-16, December.
    4. Bove, Vincenzo & Nisticò, Roberto, 2014. "Military in politics and budgetary allocations," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 1065-1078.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coups; Income; Conflict; Military spending; Political economy; H56; N40; D72; O17;

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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