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The Revolving Door and the Entrenchment of the Permanent War Economy

32 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2015 Last revised: 27 May 2015

Thomas K. Duncan

Radford University - Department of Economics

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 10, 2015

Abstract

This paper analyzes the “revolving door” phenomena in the military sector in the United States. The revolving door refers to the back-and-forth movement of personnel between the government and private sector. We examine the structure of the revolving door and explain how its very nature leads to the perpetuation of the permanent war economy. This analysis yields several important implications. First, the dynamics of the revolving door shape the military-industrial complex in a way that serves the narrow interests of select elites rather than the broad interests of citizens. Second, because the perverse incentives are a product of the institutional structure of the U.S. military sector, the negative consequences are also structural and cannot be solved by increased oversight.

Keywords: lobbying, military-industrial complex, national defense, revolving door, permanent war economy

JEL Classification: B53, H56, P50, D72

Suggested Citation

Duncan, Thomas K. and Coyne, Christopher J., The Revolving Door and the Entrenchment of the Permanent War Economy (January 10, 2015). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 15-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2547996 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2547996

Thomas K. Duncan (Contact Author)

Radford University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6952
Radford, VA 24142
United States

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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