Accession Number:

ADA558985

Title:

The Excessive Profits of Defense Contractors: Evidence and Determinants

Descriptive Note:

Technical rept.

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND PUBLIC POLICY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2012-02-08

Pagination or Media Count:

44.0

Abstract:

A long-controversial issue, one that divides academics, government officials, elected representatives, and the U.S. defense industry, is whether defense contractors earn abnormal or excessive profits at the expense of taxpayers. Using an innovative industry-year-size matched measure of excessive profit, we demonstrate three findings. First, when compared with their industry peers, defense contractors earn excessive profits. This result is evident when profit is measured by Return on Assets ROA, Return on Common Equity ROCE, and Profit Margin Ratio PMR. The evidence of excessive profit is less consistent if profit is measured by Operating Margin Ratio OMR. Second, defense contractors excessive profit is more pronounced after 1992, consistent with the conjecture that the post-1992 significant industry consolidation enabled superior profitability due to both the improved bargaining power and increased political influence of the newly combined firms. Finally, defense contractors excessive profitability increases with poorer corporate governance, as measured by the duality of the Chief Executive Officer CEO and the Chairman of the Board.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE