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.
This paper analyzes trends in world military expenditure by examining the shares of different country groups and the ratio to GDP of individual nations. The coverage is military expenditures in 125 countries from 1972 to 1988. The study also compares military expenditures as a proportion of central government expenditures; analyzes the budgetary trade-off between military, social, and development expenditures; and discusses the impact of military expenditures on economic development.