Military expenditure in Latin America has been increasing rapidly in recent years. In a region still plagued with poverty and inequality, with almost no threat of interstate conflict, some have questioned whether Latin American governments' budgetary priorities reflect their countries' real needs⎯and whether a trade-off is being made between military spending and social spending that could promote development and poverty reduction.
In order to examine whether statistical evidence supports the idea that military spending increases have come at the expense of social spending, this study analyses trends in military, health and education expenditure in the region during the period 1995–2009, and explores what relationship—if any—exists between these trends.
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II. Trends in military, health and education spending in Latin America
III. Statistical evidence of a trade-off between military and social spending?
IV. Countries with high military expenditure in relation to health or education spending
About the author
Dr Sam Perlo-Freeman (United Kingdom) is a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, responsible for monitoring data on military expenditure worldwide. Previously he was a Senior Lecturer at the University of the West of England, working in the field of defence and peace economics. His recent publications include ‘The demand for military expenditure in developing countries: hostility vs capability’, Defence and Peace Economics (Aug. 2008, co-author), and a chapter on the UK’s arms industry in The Global Arms Trade: A Handbook (Routledge, 2009)