Latin American Defense Expenditures, 1938-1965.

by J. E. Loftus

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An analysis of Latin American defense expenditures, 1938-1965. The study is based on data published in the United Nations [Statistical Yearbook]. All data have been reduced to constant 1960 U.S. dollars. Defense spending reached a peak level of $1.4 billion in 1958, declined thereafter to about $1.2 billion, and turned upward in 1964 and 1965 to about $1.4 billion. Contrary to the commonly held view that Latin American defense spending has increased tremendously since the late 1930s, these measurements suggest at most a doubling--significantly less than the increase experienced by other countries. The hypothesis that Latin American defense spending is importantly affected by domestic political instability and fears of border conflicts is examined. Suggestions are made for future research and for improving the data reporting system of the Agency for International Development. 148 pp. Ref.

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