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    The economics of exporting arm

    Smith, Ron P. and Humm, A. and Fontanel, J. (1985) The economics of exporting arm. Journal of Peace Research 22 (3), pp. 239-247. ISSN 0022-3433.

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    The international trade in arms has an important economic dimension which this paper attempts to examine. After reviewing the evolution of demand and supply, the implications of the current market structure for price and revenue are examined. This suggests that, in purely commercial terms, the promotion of arms exports by a country is not a profitable proposition. Given this, we consider why governments in supplier countries have nonetheless heavily promoted arms exports. It appears that the initial momentum was provided by strategic and political objectives but that the growing dependence of particular interests on arms exports created a powerful economic lobby, despite the lack of commercial logic. In fact these economic pressures tend to undermine the political and strategic objectives. This contradictory relationship is examined by regression analysis of time-series for five countries. Although the estimates suffer severe limitations, a dynamic model suggests that a country's military expenditure has conflicting positive and negative effects on its arms exports.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 18:31
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:05


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