The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Arms Trade

  • Charles H. Anderton
  • John R. Carter
Reference work entry


Arms trade is the transfer of weapons systems, components, technologies, and services across national and territorial borders. Contemporary arms trade occurs in three product categories: major conventional weapons; small arms and light weapons; and weapons of mass destruction. This article briefly surveys the theoretical and empirical arms trade literature. Topics include arms trade data sources, commercial and security motives for weapons exports, competitive and imperfectly competitive models of arms trade, empirical studies of the economic and political effects of arms trade, and arms export controls.


Arms trade Arms exports Arms export restraints 

JEL Classifications

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles H. Anderton
    • 1
  • John R. Carter
    • 1
  1. 1.