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The Demand for Military Expenditure in Authoritarian Regimes

  • Vincenzo Bove

    (Department of Government, Universiry of Essex)

  • Jennifer Brauner

    (Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics, Birkbeck)

We investigate how the influence of the military differs across authoritarian regimes and verify whether there are actually systematic differences in military expenditures amongst different forms of dictatorships. We argue that public choices in autocracies result from a struggle for power between the leader and the elite. Elites matter because they control the fates of dictators, since most dictators are overthrown by members of their inner circle. Both actors want to ensure their continued political influence through a favorable allocation of the government budget. Moreover, the control over the security forces gives access to troops and weaponry, and affects the ease with which elites can unseat dic¬tators. Autocratic rulers employ different bundles of co-option and repression for staying in power, and thus differ in the extent that they are required to buy off the military. Therefore, the institutional makeup of dictatorships affects the nature of leader-elite interaction, and in turn the share of the government budget allocated to military spending. Drawing on a new data set that sorts dictatorships into 5 categories from 1960 to 2000, our empirical results suggest that while military and personalist regimes have respectively the highest and lowest level of military spending among authoritarian regimes, monarchies and single-party regimes display intermediate patterns of spending.

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Paper provided by Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics in its series Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance with number 1106.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bbk:bbkefp:1106
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  1. Knight, Malcolm & Loayza, Norman & Villanueva, Delano, 1996. "The peace dividend : military spending cuts and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1577, The World Bank.
  2. Schultz, Kenneth A. & Weingast, Barry R., 2003. "The Democratic Advantage: Institutional Foundations of Financial Power in International Competition," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(01), pages 3-42, December.
  3. J. Paul Dunne & Sam Perlo-Freeman & Ron Smith, 2008. "The Demand For Military Expenditure In Developing Countries: Hostility Versus Capability," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 293-302.
  4. Gallego, M. & Pitchik, C., 2004. "An economic theory of leadership turnover," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2361-2382, December.
  5. Aizenman, Joshua & Glick, Reuven, 2003. "Military Expenditure, Threats, and Growth," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt41r4105h, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  6. J Paul Dunne & Sam Perlo-Freeman & Ron P Smith, 2009. "Determining Military Expenditures: Arms Races and Spill-Over Effects in Cross-Section and Panel Data," Working Papers 0901, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  7. Hanne Fjelde, 2010. "Generals, Dictators, and Kings," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 27(3), pages 195-218, July.
  8. Wintrobe,Ronald, 2000. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521794497, October.
  9. Jennifer Gandhi & Adam Przeworski, 2006. "Cooperation, Cooptation, And Rebellion Under Dictatorships," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26, 03.
  10. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita & Alastair Smith & Randolph M. Siverson & James D. Morrow, 2005. "The Logic of Political Survival," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524406, June.
  11. J. Paul Dunne & Sam Perlo-Freeman, 2003. "The demand for military spending in developing countries: A dynamic panel analysis," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(6), pages 461-474.
  12. J Paul Dunne & Sam Perlo-Freeman & Ron P Smith, 2008. "Determining Military Expenditures: Arms Races and Spill-Over Effects in Cross-Section and Panel Data," Discussion Papers 0801, British University in Egypt, Faulty of Business Administration, Economics and Political Science.
  13. Smith, Ronald P., 1980. "Military expenditure and investment in OECD countries, 1954-1973," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 19-32, March.
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