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Demand for Military Spending: The case of the MENA Region

Douch, Mohamed and Solomon, Binyam (2017): Demand for Military Spending: The case of the MENA Region.

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Arab Spring and the domestic unrest and the threat of terrorism that followed are not the main causes of the recent spike in military spending in the region, as the bulk of arms purchases have largely been conventional heavy weaponry, such as combat aircraft, armored vehicles, and missile systems. The results indicate that military spending in the MENA region does exhibit high income elasticity and status is further signaled through regional clubs such as the Arab League. MENA countries face substantial opportunity cost of military spending and only weakly respond to local threats. The so-called ‘resource curse’ is not a strong indicator of military posture in MENA especially within the neoclassical demand model setting and robust estimation that account for dynamics and endogeneity.

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