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Military Expenditure, Threats, and Growth

  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Glick, Reuven

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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt41r4105h.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt41r4105h
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  1. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Theorizing about conflict," Handbook of Defense Economics, in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 165-189 Elsevier.
  3. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S103-26, October.
  4. Paul Dunne & Sam Perlo-Freeman, 2003. "The Demand for Military Spending in Developing Countries," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 23-48.
  5. John Wakeman-Linn & Nancy Louise Happe, 1994. "Military Expenditure and Arms Trade; Alternative Data Sources," IMF Working Papers 94/69, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  7. Jack Hirshleifer, 1995. "Theorizing About Conflict," UCLA Economics Working Papers 727, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government," NBER Working Papers 2855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Vito Tanzi & Hamid Reza Davoodi, 1997. "Corruption, Public Investment, and Growth," IMF Working Papers 97/139, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Ram, Rati, 1995. "Defense expenditure and economic growth," Handbook of Defense Economics, in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 251-274 Elsevier.
  11. Landau, Daniel, 1996. "Is one of the 'peace dividends' negative? Military expenditure and economic growth in the wealthy OECD countries," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 183-195.
  12. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  13. International Monetary Fund, 2000. "Corruption and Military Spending," IMF Working Papers 00/23, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Malcolm Knight & Norman Loayza & Delano Villanueva, 1996. "The Peace Dividend: Military Spending Cuts and Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 1-37, March.
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