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A growing number of NATO countries suspended compulsory military service during the past decade or are now phasing it out, moving to an All Volunteer Force (AVF). An AVF can free resources available for investment in up‐to‐date equipments, thus improving operational capabilities. Our paper investigates shifts in NATO military expenditure shares on personnel, equipment, infrastructure and other costs over the period 1970–2008 and explores the impact of the transition to AVFs on these shares of the defence budget. Results suggest that while the end of conscription did not reduce the share of spending on personnel, NATO forces are increasingly less reliant on soldiers and more on capital.
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Keywords: C33; Defence budget; H56; J20; Military personnel; NATO; Volunteer forces

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, Birkbeck College,University of London, London, United Kingdom

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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