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Journal Articles Defence and Peace Economics Year : 2023

Market Structures, Competition and Innovation


Since the 1980s, most reforms in major arms-producing countries focus on keeping costs under control by either promoting competition between suppliers or by reducing information asymmetry through audits and controls. Indeed, cost escalation represents a challenge but, in fact, these reforms try to adjust the functioning of defence market rather than questioning the institutional features of this latter. The success of defence acquisition structures also explains their limits. The current organisation of defence market was perfectly adapted to the geostrategic context of Cold War and a technological momentum that favours symmetrical arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Even if these structures still help deliver advanced capabilities, they can be considered as not sufficient to cover all the operational needs of armed forces. The conception of capabilities needs to go beyond a long-term planning while industrial approaches open the way to more agile development and manufacturing. An alternative defence industrial policy is necessary to complement the existing one. More modular architectures for complex systems provide the opportunity to increase the reactiveness of capability deliveries and to foster both innovation and competition.
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hal-04033557 , version 1 (17-03-2023)



Renaud Bellais. Market Structures, Competition and Innovation: Grounds for an Alternative Defence Industrial Policy. Defence and Peace Economics, 2023, pp.1-16. ⟨10.1080/10242694.2023.2182869⟩. ⟨hal-04033557⟩
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