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The Effect Of Defence R&D On Military Equipment Quality


  • Andrew Middleton
  • Steven Bowns
  • Keith Hartley
  • James Reid


Studies into the output of R&D generally take a qualitative view of case histories and do not provide a quantitative template for the analysis of 'cause and effect' suited to investment management. This study describes the development of a quantitative model of the relationship between defence R&D and equipment capability. Using open source data, the military equipment quality of 10 nations has been evaluated from 1971 to 2005 and time-dependent correlation with R&D investment back to 1951 analysed. We find that the nations studied 'got what they paid for', with their R&D expenditure positively correlated with equipment capability. The observed variability in equipment quality was most highly correlated with R&D spend 10-25 years earlier.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Middleton & Steven Bowns & Keith Hartley & James Reid, 2006. "The Effect Of Defence R&D On Military Equipment Quality," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 117-139.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:defpea:v:17:y:2006:i:2:p:117-139
    DOI: 10.1080/10242690600636869

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Keith Hartley, 2006. "Defence R&D: Data Issues," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 169-175.
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    Cited by:

    1. Renaud Bellais & Daniel Fiott, 2017. "The European defense market: Disruptive innovation and market destabilization," Economics of Peace and Security Journal, EPS Publishing, vol. 12(1), pages 38-45, April.
    2. Renaud Bellais, 2013. "Technology and the defense industry: real threats, bad habits, or new (market) opportunities?," Post-Print hal-00947395, HAL.

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    Defence R&D; Military equipment quality;


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