The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The IMF MULTIMOD model is used to trace the economic impact of a 20 percent reduction in world military expenditures. GDP falls in the short run, however private consumption and investment rise, leading to an increase in GDP in the medium and long run. The estimated gains to economic welfare are substantial, particularly for developing countries, although most of these gains are realized in the long run. A positive international economic externality is found to exist, implying that for any given country the economic gains from a coordinated reduction in military expenditures exceed the gains from a unilateral reduction.