Alliances as Contiguity in Spatial Models of Military Expenditures
What determines the level of a countryâ€™s military expenditures? Both history and theory indicate that military expenditures are strategic in natureâ€”a countryâ€™s military expenditures depend on the military allocations of other countries. This article examines two potential sources of interdependence: geographic proximity and alliance membership. Estimation results from spatial autoregressive models show that a countryâ€™s military expenditures are positively correlated with those of its geographic neighbors. Since countries may respond positively to their neighborsâ€™ military spending due to conflict or cooperation, the article uses alliance membership as an alternative measure of contiguity to discover potential cooperative relationships among geographic neighbors. Results indicate that a countryâ€™s military expenditures are positively correlated with the military spending of its alliance partners. This correlation is stronger between members of the same defensive alliance.