How and why do regime type and interstate war affect government spending? We argue that a political leader allocates scarce resources between social and military expenditures as a function of their relative efficiency in securing her political survival. We derive four hypotheses concerning how mobilization for and demobilization from interstate war affects government spending differently in democratic and autocratic regimes. Compared to democracies, autocracies should increase military spending to a greater degree during wartime and decrease military spending to a greater extent following a war. Autocracies also should cut social spending more during an interstate war and increase social spending more during the process of demobilization from war than democracies. Our analyses of all states in the international system from 1950 to 2001 yield support for our hypotheses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations