Do Military Expenditure and Conflict Affect Economic Growth in Sri Lanka? Evidence from the ARDL Bounds Test Approach

  •  Abdul Rasheed Sithy Jesmy    
  •  Mohd Zaini Abd Karim    
  •  Shri Dewi Applanaidu    


Conflicts in the form of civil war, ethnic tensions and political discord are of enduring concern and a major bottleneck to economic development in Sri Lanka. Three decades of civil war and unethical political culture have caused severe economic problems for the country, including slower rate of growth and a huge defence expenditure. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of military expenditure and conflict on per capita GDP growth rate in Sri Lanka from 1973 to 2014 using the Solow growth model and ARDL bounds test approach. The results of the bounds test are highly significant and lead to cointegration. The negative and significant coefficients of the error correction term illustrate the expected convergence process in the long-run dynamic of per capita GDP. The estimated empirical results show that, the coefficients of military expenditure and conflict are negative and statistically significant in the short-run as well as in the long-run in determining per capita GDP growth rate in Sri Lanka. Hence, it is critically important to take necessary action to decrease military expenditure and provide an efficient political solution to the problem of minorities, specifically in the post-war period.

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