Spatial and temporal variability in the geography of American defense outlays

Jeff R. Crump, J. Clark Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union led the US to maintain military expenditures at historically high peacetime levels. Consequently, certain regions and sectors of the US economy are now dependent on military spending. At the state level, federal military outlays exhibit a large degree of locational persistence, with the spatial distribution of these expenditures remaining stable over a four-decade (1959-1989) time-period. At the county scale, there is little correspondence between the spatial distribution of federal defense and non-defense spending. Our findings also indicate that counties in the 'Defense Perimeter' or 'Gunbelt' (Markusen, 1986; Markusen et al., 1991) secure significantly higher amounts of federal military allocations than other counties. However, those outside the defense perimeter receive significantly greater levels of non-defense expenditures. In the aggregate, allocations of federal expenditures are roughly equal in the over 3000 counties of the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-63
Number of pages26
JournalPolitical Geography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993


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