Military Spending and Economic Output: A Decomposition Analysis of the US Military Budget

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Kyriakos Emmanouilidis
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Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
lthough the economic effects of defense expenditures have become an issue of intense interest over the recent decades, little is known about how the individual components of military spending affect the economy. Nevertheless, military spending is highly heterogeneous in its nature consisting of assorted categories that broadly encompass salaries’ pay-ment, operations, training, research and development, and maintenance of equipment, arms and facilities. Naturally, this implies that military spending can affect the economy in various and probably contradictory ways. Hence, by considering this distinctive element of military spending, the present paper aims to uncover the economic effects of the most important components of the US defense budget focusing on a period from 1949 to 2021. Applying linear and non–linear methods on a Barro– style regression, the statistical evidence reported herein suggests that heavy reliance on the military sector entails potentially high opportunity costs.