The Military Burden and Basic Human Needs

William J. Dixon, Bruce E. Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


This study examines ways in which military factors influence the provision of basic human needs once the effects of aggregated social wealth and certain political aspects of the state are removed. Three channels of influence are examined: the defense burden on the economy, the scope of military participation in society, and military control of the ruling regime. We analyze these influences by regressing an index of physical well-being, the PQLI, on measures of each factor for a sample of 116 contemporary national societies. Our findings indicate that military attributes do indeed have some impact on the provision of basic needs even with other important influences removed. Military participation is found to make a positive contribution to welfare performance; military spending, on the other hand, appears to inhibit welfare outcomes, but only when controlling for the size of the military establishment. Military control of the government has no discernible effect on our measure of welfare performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)660-684
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'The Military Burden and Basic Human Needs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this