The Growth in Military Expenditure in Germany 1951-2011: Did Parties Matter?

32 Pages Posted: 7 May 2015

See all articles by Bjoern Kauder

Bjoern Kauder

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Niklas Potrafke

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Date Written: April 30, 2015

Abstract

We examine whether government ideology was correlated with the growth in military expenditure in Germany over the period 1951-2011. By using various measures of government ideology, the results do not show any effect. The exception is an ideology measure based on the Comparative Manifesto Project (Left-Right scale): using this measure, the results show that the growth in military expenditure increased by about 2.4 percentage points, when the ideology variable (right-wing) increased by one standard deviation. This effect, however, is based on observations until the early 1960s and cannot be generalized. The major political parties agreed on how to evaluate international risks and threats. Government ideology retired to the background. We conjecture that the consensus among the major parties will persist – even if military spending needs to be increased in response to new international risks and threats.

Keywords: military expenditure, partisan politics, economic policy-making, Germany

JEL Classification: D720, H000

Suggested Citation

Kauder, Bjoern and Potrafke, Niklas, The Growth in Military Expenditure in Germany 1951-2011: Did Parties Matter? (April 30, 2015). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5337, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2603606

Bjoern Kauder

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Niklas Potrafke (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

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