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.
Malcolm Knight, Delano Villanueva, and Norman Loayza
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Although conventional wisdom suggests that reducing military spending may improve a country’s economic growth performance, empirical studies have produced ambiguous results. This paper extends a standard growth model and estimates it using techniques that exploit both cross-section and time-series dimensions of available data to obtain consistent estimates of the growth-retarding effects of military spending via its adverse impact on capital formation and resource allocation. Model simulations suggest that a substantial long-run “Peace Dividend”--in the form of higher capacity output--may result from: (i) markedly lower military expenditure levels achieved in most regions during the late 1980s; and (ii) further military spending cuts that would be possible in the future if a global peace could be secured.