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Technology and the Era of the Mass Army

Massimiliano Onorato (), Kenneth Scheve and David Stasavage
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Kenneth Scheve: Stanford University
David Stasavage: New York University

No 5/2012, Working Papers from IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca

Abstract: We investigate how technology has influenced the size of armies. During the nineteenth century the development of the railroad made it possible to field and support mass armies, significantly increasing the observed size of military forces. During the late twentieth century further advances in technology made it possible to deliver explosive force from a distance and with precision, making mass armies less desirable. We find strong support for our technological account using a new data set covering thirteen great powers between 1600 and 2000. Contrary to what is so often suggested, we find little evidence that the French Revolution was a watershed in terms of levels of mobilization..

Keywords: Military; Security; Soldiers; Technological Change; Technology; Technology Adoption; War; Warfare (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F52 N4 N7 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 47 pages
Date: 2012-10, Revised 2013-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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Published in EIC working paper series

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Journal Article: Technology and the Era of the Mass Army (2014) Downloads
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