Cover: Defense Spending and the Civilian Economy

Defense Spending and the Civilian Economy

Published 1990

by C. Richard Neu


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 3.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback74 pages $25.00

This Note describes the circumstances in which defense spending might generate economic gains or losses that are not reflected in defense budgets. The author generates a kind of checklist for analysts trying to assess the nonmilitary consequences of defense spending — a list of generic situations in which the social costs and benefits of defense spending may be larger or smaller than the defense budget suggests. The Note presents a general framework for thinking about how defense spending may affect the civilian economy; describes some specific circumstances in which defense spending may have beneficial consequences for the civilian economy; details some frequently alleged benefits of defense spending that are difficult to credit; and considers circumstances in which defense spending may harm the civilian economy, circumstances in which the social costs of defense spending are likely to exceed the budgetary costs. Finally, it considers how defense spending may or may not be different from other types of government spending in its effects on the civilian economy and identifies circumstances in which defense spending may generate benefits for the civilian economy.

This report is part of the RAND note series. The note was a product of RAND from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.