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Abstract

Intuitively, we would expect that an increase in the military preparations of potential enemies imply that the rival perceives an increase in the likelihood of future conflict. In this paper, we present a simple model that suggests that, surprisingly, the relationship is ambiguous. We find that (a) the specification of the social utility function; and (b) the rate of substitution between long and short lead-time preparations in the production of defense capability play a role in determining whether rivals respond to an increased future threat, by increasing or decreasing their long lead-time preparations.

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