The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Military Expenditure

  • R. P. Smith
Reference work entry


In 1983, total world military expenditure was estimated to be $800 billion, about 30% higher in real terms than 1974 (SIPRI 1984). Although the bulk of the expenditure was by industrialized countries, the fastest growth was among the poor countries of the Third World. The UN study on the relationship between disarmament and development estimated that in the world as a whole in the late 1970s, military expenditure accounted for about 6% of world GNP and employed about 50 million people, including 25 million in the armed services, 5 million in the defence industries, and half a million scientists and engineers working on military R&D.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. P. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.