Militärökonomische Forschung und Lehre
Research and Courses in Economics of Defense

PD Dr. Peter T. Baltes
To my wife, my (academic & military) teachers, my family and my friends
Online: * August 2012
Segment in Deutsch.English Section.
Welcome II
Sitemap (deutsche Version)
First Version: August 2012
This Version: December 2012
Every art has its rules and maxims.
One must study them: theory facilitates practice.
The lifetime of one man is not long enough to enable him to acquire knowledge and experience.
Theory helps to supplement it, it provides a youth with premature experience and makes him skillful also through the mistakes of others.
Frederick II. (1999, p. 54), King of Prussia

Welcome I

The economics of defense, also called military economics, represents the part of general economics investigating the economic dimension of military decisions / actions: So this approach analyzes the procurement costs of weapon systems or the (pecuniary) costs of levying a certain unit? Yes, that is ─ following Staffelbach (2006) and others ─ how military economics started as a scientific discipline under the label “oeconomia militaria“ in the 17th / 18th century. But actually the first defense economist, Niccolò Machiavelli (1521), had already a much broader perspective in mind: The economics of defense stands for applying the economic perspective when analyzing how armed forces should be embedded in their society. For example, should the military be organized as a militia, as a professional army or even as mercenaries?

While many costs of providing the good “national security” are not immediately visible even to defense specialists, the importance of the topics discussed in military economics for the performance of societies can not be underestimated ─  for example, take the current debate in the USA about how cutting the defense budget may help to stabilize the governmental debts that increased dramatically after 9/11.

Niccolò Machiavelli (*1469†1527)
Frederick II. (*1712†1786)