Is happiness really a warm gun? The political consequences of US weapons sales

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics

Event details

ACDE Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 29 October 2013


Coombs Seminar Room B, Coombs Building 9, Fellows Road, ANU


Eik Swee, University of Melbourne


Arianto Patunru

We exploit exogenous shifts in the cost of purchasing commercial weapons from the United States to uncover the causal effect of US weapon purchases on political violence. We find that weapon purchases reduce the likelihood of political repression but increase the likelihood of onset of civil war in purchasing countries. The results suggest that state investment in military capability incites civil war in countries where state repression of an aggrieved opposition would have otherwise prevailed.

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