June 26, 2013

The Political Economy of Drones

  • Christopher Coyne

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

    Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Tampa
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Read the full article at SSRN.com 

This paper provides a political economy analysis of the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or “drones”, in the United States. Focus is placed on the interplay between the political and private economic influences; and their impact on the trajectory of political, economic, and, in this case, military outcomes. We identify the initial formation of the drone industry, trace how the initial relationships between the military and the private sector expanded over time, and discuss how the industry has expanded. Understanding the history and evolution of UAV technology, as well as the major players in the industry today, is important for ongoing policy debates regarding the use of drones, both domestically and internationally.