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Riding Waves or Making Waves? The Services and the U.S. Defense Budget, 1981-1993

James H. Lebovic
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 88, No. 4 (Dec., 1994), pp. 839-852
DOI: 10.2307/2082711
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2082711
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Riding Waves or Making Waves? The Services and the U.S. Defense Budget, 1981-1993
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Abstract

Bureaucratic politics is the favored explanation of those addressing the perversities of defense budgeting. But it is arguably devoid of politics, given its dependence on either aggregate top-down or horizontal models. I seek to redirect analysis. I disaggregate defense spending (by service and weapon type) and study budget sensitivity to program pressures in the buildups and builddowns of the Reagan-Bush eras. Applying a two-equation model to time-series cross-sectional data, the analysis shows weapon budgets increasing with program diversification and a commitment to defense spending. In turn, it shows programs diversifying to accomodate service objectives: when turning to missions, the services increased program varieties while concentrating program resources.

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