Issues in the quantitative analysis of the SIPRI arms industry database

Ron Smith, J. Paul Dunne


Although the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s data on the 100 largest arms (and military services) producing firms is very widely used for various purposes, there is relatively little quantitative statistical analysis of it. This article discusses some of the issues involved in the econometric analysis of the data. This is complicated by the difficulty of modeling the processes of mergers, acquisitions, and divestments which drives entry and exit from the list. Various models are estimated to examine (a) the relationship between arms sales and military expenditure, (b) the evolution of concentration and the size distribution of firms, (c) the cross-section relationship between size and growth of firms, (d) the times-series properties of the arms sales of individual firms, and (e) of arms sales by country of ownership.


Arms industry; data; SIPRI

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