How Safe Is It, to Confuse Defense with Care?

46 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2013 Last revised: 5 Dec 2014

See all articles by Konstantin Yanovskiy

Konstantin Yanovskiy

Shomron Center for Economic Policy Research

Ilia Zatcovetsky

Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology

Date Written: March 20, 2013


The state spending structure – correlation on pure and mixed public goods reflects the making of fundamental choices about state functions. Are pure public good "defense" normal quality provision compatible in Long Run with heavy spending on social sector (i.e. compatible with mixed public goods provision)?

The main hypotheses tested: elected politicians and bureaucrats' have strong incentives to choose wrong strategies in foreign and military policies if the state extends its responsibility far from the pure public goods provision limits.

The case study (Protocol 1, June 8, 1977, to the Geneva Convention of 1949) shows, how "punishment for military success" strategy undermines incentives of army officers, making the military machine virtually inoperative. Artificially abridged Army capability provides the argument for the notion "war is no solution". The set of the governments credibly ready to obey ratified Convention, are clearly segmented on two subsets. The 1st one includes the Governments bearing military responsibilities, military umbrella-givers, which abstained to impose all Protocol caused risks on the army officers (non-ratified – USA, Israel; ratified with strong reservations – UK, France, Germany) and the rest democratic countries – which are military umbrella takers, ratified the Protocol without significant reservations.

Statistical analysis of Great Powers military spending historical trends used to test the main hypothesis. Preliminary statistical analysis fails to reject it. We believe bureaucratic competition for the responsibilities, staff and the budget provides satisfactory explanation of this phenomena.

Keywords: Budget spending structure, pure public goods, mixed public goods, universal suffrage, military justice, military spending

JEL Classification: D72, D74, H11, H41, N40

Suggested Citation

Yanovskiy, Konstantin (Moshe) and Zatcovetsky, Ilia, How Safe Is It, to Confuse Defense with Care? (March 20, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Konstantin (Moshe) Yanovskiy (Contact Author)

Shomron Center for Economic Policy Research ( email )

Kley Shir 8
Karney Shomron, 44855

Ilia Zatcovetsky

Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology ( email )

Technion, Haifa 32000

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