How Elastic is the Government's Demand for Weapons?
We attempt to make inferences about the elasticity of the government's demand for specific weapons by analyzing the statistical relationship between quantity and cost revisions across the population of major weapon systems, using data contained in the Pentagon's Selected Acquisition Reports. The cost revisions are due in part to the arrival of technological information generated in the course of research and development. When we standardize the data by program base year, we find that the elasticity of demand is .55, and is significantly different from both zero and unity. Thus, the governments demand for specific weapons is inelastic, but not perfectly inelastic. The estimates also imply that weapons acquisition is characterized by increasing returns: the mean and median values of the elasticity of total cost with respect to quantity are .78 and .72, respectively.
|Date of creation:||Jul 1989|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 40, pp. 57-78, (1989).|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Tirole, Jean, 1986.
"Procurement and Renegotiation,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 235-59, April.
- Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1988. "The Private R&D Investment Response to Federal Design and Technical Competitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 550-59, June.
- White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
- William P. Rogerson, 1988. "Profit Regulation of Defense Contractors and Prizes for Innovation : Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers 759, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- A W. Marshall & W H. Meckling, 1962. "Predictability of the Costs, Time, and Success of Development," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 461-476 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baron, David P & Besanko, David, 1988. " Monitoring of Performance in Organizational Contracting: The Case of Defense Procurement," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(3), pages 329-56.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3025. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.