September, 2013

The Case Against a U.S.-Arms Monopoly

  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Abigail Hall

    Associate Professor of Economics at Bellarmine University
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The U.S. government is the dominant player in the global arms market. An existing literature emphasizes the many benefits of an international U.S.-government arms monopoly including: regional and global balance, stability and security, the advancement of U.S. national interests, and domestic economic benefits from international sales. The purpose of this paper is to balance this largely one-sided treatment of the U.S. government’s dominant position in the international arms market. The authors discuss several negative consequences and costs associated with U.S. arms sales which call into question the net benefit of the U.S. government’s control over global arms.