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Industry Papers on Armaments

Weapons Exports: The bogus moral dilemma
Samuel Brittan, World Economics, June 2003
The commonly held view that an ethical approach to arms sales is desirable but ‘unaffordable’ because jobs and exports are at stake is challenged by Samuel Brittan. He argues that it arises from a failure to understand the circular flow of income, the fallacy of a ‘lump of labour’ and a long discredited mercantilist view of trade. The author contends that on moral and economic grounds, arms sales should not be subsidised or officially promoted in any way, and governments should be much stricter in enforcing bans on sales to dubious regimes.
The International Arms Industry Since the End of the Cold War
Ron Smith, World Economics, September 2001
This article surveys the evolution of the international arms market since the end of the Cold War. It begins with the policy context, the choices made by the national Ministries of Defence and the constraints they faced. It then looks at the choices available to the arms producers: convert, diversify, divest, co-operate or concentrate. These choices, by governments and firms, produced a large increase in the degree of concentration. The share of the five largest firms increased from just over 20% in 1990 to 45% in 1998, and it has increased further since then. Finally, the author looks at the economic adjustment in response to these shocks.