Words and Deeds in Soviet Foreign Policy: The Case of Soviet Military Expenditures

William Zimmerman, Glenn Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This article describes several techniques for predicting Soviet military expenditures on the basis of an analysis of the annual budget speech by the Minister of Finance. Using the Shishko-Nincic series as an indicator of actual ruble increments in the Soviet defense budget, more than four-fifths of the variance in the change in Soviet ruble expenditures for defense can be explained by an interactive model that combines a) the Finance Minister's changing characterizations of the United States and imperialism, b) his depiction of Soviet military intentions, and c) the planning cycle. This finding suggests that even in a relatively low information system such as the Soviet Union, its leadership believes it must depict the broad contours of the budget even with respect to military expenditures. The result is that the Soviet Union provides more information about important matters than Western analysts have hitherto realized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-367
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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