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Military Expenditure, Threats, and Growth

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  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Glick, Reuven

Abstract

This paper clarifies one of the puzzling results of the economic growth literature: the impact of military expenditure is frequently found to be non-significant or negative, yet most countries spend a large fraction of their GDP on defense and the military. We start by empirical evaluation of the non-linear interactions between military expenditure, external threats, corruption, and other relevant controls. While growth falls with higher levels of military spending, given the values of the other independent variables, we show that military expenditure in the presence of threats increases growth. We explain the presence of these non-linearities in an extended version of Barro and Sala-i-Martin (1995), allowing the dependence of growth on the severity of external threats, and on the effective military expenditure associated with these threats.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt41r4105h
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic growth; military expenditure; external threats; corruption;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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