Greece has over the years allocated substantial human and material resources to defence. Its defence burden (i.e. military expenditure as a share of GDP) has invariably been substantially higher than the EU and NATO averages. Furthermore, during the post-bipolar period, when the defence budgets of most countries shrunk, Greek defence spending grew in real terms. This paper contributes to the existing literature on Greek defence spending and its effects by empirically estimating the impact of such expenditures on the country's fiscal situation during the period 1960-2001 something that has largely been ignored in the relevant literature. In particular, it focuses on the effects of military spending on government debt and its two components: internal and external debt. The empirical findings reported here suggest that central government debt and, in particular, external debt has been adversely influenced by military expenditure but also by the domestic political cycle.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Business Administration TEI of Larissa Greece
Directorate General for Economic Policy Ministry of Economy & Finance Greece
Council of Economic Advisers Ministry of Economy & Finance Greece
April 1, 2004
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