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Book publication: 'The Economics of Arms' by Emeritus Professor Keith Hartley

Posted on 30 March 2017

Congratulations to Emeritus Professor Keith Hartley on the forthcoming publication of his book 'The Economics of Arms'

The book begins by defining the industry, explaining why the sector is important, outlining its prime contractors and key supply chains. Its cost categories (from R&D to maintenance), the role of technical innovation, and the sector's dependence on the monopsony buying power of government, are all examined. The structure-conduct and performance model is used to show the workings of the arms market and its various entry and exit conditions, and the sector's performance is analysed through various indicators including exports, development time scales, cost overruns and profitability. The complex choice problems of domestic procurement are considered alongside sales to foreign governments and the opportunities that may present for bribery and corruption. The Military-Industrial-Political-Complex (MIPC) is unpacked and the behavior of its major agents – national defense agencies, the armed forces, producer groups, political agents (voters, political parties and budget-maximizing bureaucracies) – is scrutinized, both in times of conflict (expansion) and peace (contraction). The book concludes by considering future trends, such as whether arms industries are better under state or private ownership, and how they can meet the challenge of new threats in different forms. (Columbia University Press, Mar 2017)

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