Colluding Victims: A Public Choice Analysis of International Alliances

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Analysis of international alliances is often premised on predicted responses by nation states when nation states are assumed to behave as utility-maximising actors. 'Large' allies are exploited by 'small' allies when output is a public good. Empirical analysis of defence expenditures in NATO yields results consistent with the proposition that 'exploitation' increases as alliance output approximates a pure public good. But why would large countries acquiesce? A public choice analysis offers a different perspective. If producers of armaments are rent seeking, are large allies able to capture rent by incurring a disproportionate share of defence expenditure?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-32
Number of pages14
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Rent-seeking
  • and Voting Behavior (D720)
  • Elections
  • Models of Political Processes
  • National Security and War (H560)
  • Legislatures
  • International Organizations (F530)
  • International Agreements and Observance


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