The Concept of "Military Economies of Scale"

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Abstract

Military economies of scale exist if an increase of x% in all inputs increases an army′s destructive capability by more than x%. Economies of scale did not exist in ancient and medieval warfare. Perceived instances of military scale economies are actually the expected outcome of the application of a superior weapon system. With the development of firearms, combat came to involve more than the front ranks alone. When every soldier is able to fire on every other soldier, an army′s capability increases by the square of its size. By 1700, scale economies were available to all modern armies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-484
Number of pages15
JournalExplorations in Economic History
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Economics and Econometrics

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