Military Spending and Electoral Systems: A Reconsideration

Lance Y Hunter, Joseph W. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


The implications for funding a military, though important, are still not fully understood. Existing work often surmises that military spending is higher in majoritarian electoral systems that are predicated on personalistic ties. However, further examination casts doubt upon these findings. Accordingly, we present a pooled time-series cross-sectional analysis of military spending and electoral institutions and we find that party-based electoral systems, rather than majoritarian ones, foment higher military spending levels—which we attribute to these systems’ predilection for public goods spending. These results are robust even when a host of control measures and four different military spending metrics are employed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-74
Number of pages24
JournalArmed Forces and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016



  • candidate-centered systems
  • electoral systems
  • military spending
  • party-centered systems
  • personal vote index
  • personalistic systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research

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