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Military Expenditure, Investment and Growth


  • J. Paul Dunne

    (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

  • Ron P Smith

    (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)


This paper considers the issues involved in estimating the effect of military expenditure on growth and the reasons for the lack of consensus in the literature. It briefly reviews the economic theory, emphasising the difficult identification issues involved in determining the interaction between military expenditure and output and discusses econometric methods for panels. It then takes advantage of the extended SIPRI military spending to construct a relatively large balanced panel of countries for the period 1960-2014. Rather than the usual focus on the direct relation between military spending on growth, it focusses upon the investment channel. It provides estimates of various models examining the interaction between the three variables and finds that the data do not suggest any strong relations between military expenditure and either investment or growth. This is not unexpected given the theoretical and econometric problems identified.

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  • J. Paul Dunne & Ron P Smith, 2019. "Military Expenditure, Investment and Growth," School of Economics Macroeconomic Discussion Paper Series 2019-01, School of Economics, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctn:dpaper:2019-01

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