Individual Preferences and the Demand for Military Expenditure

Glenn Withers, David Throsby

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Whose preferences determine the tradeoff between security and civilian output in deciding upon budget allocations to defence? This paper considers the role that consumer preferences might play in influencing military spending. We propose normative criteria to judge the economic or political efficiency of defence provision at a given time, and test them using Australian survey-based micro-data. Our results suggest that the political system has not delivered a simple social-choice translation of individual preferences into collective outcomes, nor has it delivered results consistent with simple majority-voting median preferences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)87-102
    JournalDefence and Peace Economics
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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