Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Warfare and welfare? Understanding 19th and 20th century Central Government spending

By Jari Eloranta


This paper evaluates theories aiming to explain the size and growth of government spending, develops a framework inclusive of the so-called guns vs. butter tradeoff effect, and offers insights especially for the period 1870-1938. There were differences between the excessive and responsive government explanations, and between the long-run and short-run explanations, as well as cross-section and time series approaches. Here central government spending, conditioned by the regime characteristics, is proposed to be analyzed on the basis of the demand characteristics of military spending and social spending, their interaction, public debt constraints, as well as institutional constraints and other environmental variables

Topics: HC
Publisher: University of Warwick, Department of Economics
Year: 2004
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1986). A History of Taxation and Expenditure in the Western World. doi
  2. (1985). A pooled time-series, cross-section comparison’.
  3. (1981). A Rational Theory of the Size of Government’. doi
  4. (1983). A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence’. doi
  5. (1966). An Economic Theory of Alliances’. doi
  6. (1971). An Empirical Typology of International Military Alliances’. doi
  7. (1996). Budgetary Decisions. A public choice approach. doi
  8. (1986). Budgeting. A Comparative Theory of Budgetary Processes. nd Revised Edition.
  9. (1971). Bureacracy and Representative Government. doi
  10. (1966). Diagrammatic Exposition of a Theory of Public Expenditure”. doi
  11. (1993). Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development’. doi
  12. (2002). Doctoral dissertation defended at the
  13. (1992). Economic Theory and the Welfare State: A Survey and Interpretation’.
  14. (1980). Efficient rent seeking’. In Towards a Theory of Rent Seeking Society. doi
  15. (2003). European economic integration and the labour compact, doi
  16. (1987). Explaining the Size of the Public Sector: Responsive and Excessive Government Interpretations’. doi
  17. (2002). EXTERNAL SECURITY BY DOMESTIC CHOICES: Military Spending as an Impure Public Good among Eleven European States,
  18. (1984). From poor relief towards institutional welfare states: the development of Scandinavian social policy.
  19. (2000). Government Consumption and Investment in Belgium 1830—1940. The Reconstruction of a Database.
  20. (1983). Government Debt, Government Spending, and Private Sector Behavior’.
  21. (1993). Grasping the Democratic Peace. Principles for a Post-Cold War World. With the collaboration of William Antholis, Carol R. Ember, Melvin Ember, Zeev Maos. doi
  22. (1995). Grasping the Peace Dividend: Some Propositions on the Conversion of Swords into Plowshares’. doi
  23. (1967). Inside Bureaucracy. doi
  24. (1994). Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions. Reprint. doi
  25. (1985). Interest Groups and the Political Economy of Government Size’. doi
  26. (1997). Julkista ja yksityistä — maanpuolustuksen taloudelliset reaaliteetit 1920—1939’.
  27. (1987). Microeconomics and the Public Economy: A Defence of the Leviathan. doi
  28. (1990). National Defense and the Public-Goods Problem”. In Arms, Politics, and the Economy. Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Ed. by Robert Higgs. Independent Institute.
  29. (1998). Nations at War. A Scientific Study doi
  30. (1955). Originally in The Review of Economics and Statistics,
  31. (1997). Power Kills. Democracy as a Method of Nonviolence. doi
  32. (1997). Provision of Public and Merit Goods: Towards an Optimal Policy
  33. (1990). Public Choice: A Survey’. The Theory of Public Choice — doi
  34. (1991). Public Construction Expenditures in the United States: Are There Structural Breaks in the 1921-1987 Period?’. doi
  35. (1992). Public Finance in Models of Economic Growth’. doi
  36. (1978). Public Sector Economics.
  37. (2000). Public Spending in the 20 th Century. A Global Perspective. doi
  38. (2003). Reassessing the pre-First World Military Spending:
  39. (1987). Reducing Defence Expenditure: A Public Choice Analysis and a Case Study of the UK’. In Peace, Defence and Economic Analysis.
  40. (2004). Social Spending and Economic Growth Since the Eighteenth Century. Two volumes. doi
  41. (1997). The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. doi
  42. (1968). The Demand and Supply of Public Goods. doi
  43. (1996). The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force’.
  44. (1991). The Economics of Defence Policy. doi
  45. (1995). The Economics of Defense. Cambridge Surveys of Economic Literature. doi
  46. (1998). The economics of World War II doi
  47. (1990). The Fable of the Keys’. doi
  48. (1983). The Growth of Government in the United States: An Empirical Assessment of Competing Explanations’. doi
  49. (1961). The Growth of Public Expenditures in the United Kingdom. doi
  50. (1965). The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. doi
  51. (1991). The Measurement of Fiscal Deficits: Analytical and Methodological Issues’.
  52. (1995). The Public as Thermostat: Dynamics of Preferences for Spending’. doi
  53. (1966). The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure”. doi
  54. (1982). The Rise and Decline of Nations. Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities. doi
  55. (1992). The Rise of Social Spending, doi
  56. (1996). The theory of externalities, public goods, and club goods. Second edition. doi
  57. (1967). The welfare costs of tariffs, monopolies, and theft’. doi
  58. (2003). Voice and Growth: Was Churchill Right? doi
  59. (1987). Wagner’s Hypothesis in Time-Series and Cross-Section Perspectives: Evidence from “Real” Data for 115 Countries’. The Review of doi
  60. (1989). War and State Making. The Shaping of the Global Powers. doi
  61. (2002). What Fundamentals Drive World Migration? doi
  62. (1993). What Limits Social Spending? Agricultural History doi
  63. (1996). What Limits Social Spending?’. doi
  64. (2002). Why has the Public Sector Grown So Large in Market Societies? The Political Economy doi
  65. (2002). Winners and Losers over Two Centuries of Globalization. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.