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Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentine Draft Lottery

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  • Sebastian Galiani
  • Mart�n A. Rossi
  • Ernesto Schargrodsky

Abstract

We estimate the causal effect of mandatory participation in military service on individuals' subsequent involvement in criminal activities. To identify this causal effect, we exploit the random assignment of young men to conscription in Argentina through a draft lottery. Using a dataset that includes draft eligibility, participation in military service, and criminal records, we find that conscription increases the likelihood of developing a criminal record. The effects are significant not only for cohorts that provided military service during wartime, but also for those that served during peacetime. Our results do not support the introduction of conscription for anti-crime purposes. JEL (H56, K42, O17)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 119-36

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:3:y:2011:i:2:p:119-36

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.3.2.119
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  1. Angrist, Joshua D. & Chen, Stacey H. & Frandsen, Brigham R., 2010. "Did Vietnam veterans get sicker in the 1990s? The complicated effects of military service on self-reported health," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 824-837, December.
  2. Steven D. Levitt & Lance Lochner, 2001. "The Determinants of Juvenile Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 327-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist, 1995. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," NBER Working Papers 5192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sebastian Galiani & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2007. "Modeling Informality Formally: Households and Firms," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0047, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  8. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 163-190, Winter.
  12. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration and Juvenile Crime," NBER Working Papers 9653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records: Errata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1284-86, December.
  15. Imbens, G. & Van Der Klaauw, W., 1993. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in the Netherlands," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1632, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  16. Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen, 2009. "Long-Term Economic Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: Schooling, Experience and Earnings," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 09/02, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London.
  17. John J. DiIulio, 1996. "Help Wanted: Economists, Crime and Public Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  18. Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson & David Pozen, 2009. "Building Criminal Capital behind Bars: Peer Effects in Juvenile Corrections-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 105-147, February.
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  20. Chris Rohlfs, 2010. "Does Combat Exposure Make You a More Violent or Criminal Person? Evidence from the Vietnam Draft," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
  21. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 313-36, June.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentine Draft Lottery
    by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-05-30 07:13:37
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Cited by:
  1. Card, David & Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2011. "Can Compulsory Military Service Raise Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," IZA Discussion Papers 5915, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Jha, Saumitra & Wilkinson, Steven, 2012. "Veterans, Organizational Skill and Ethnic Cleansing: Evidence from the Partition of South Asia," Research Papers 2092, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  3. Siminski, Peter & Ville, Simon & Paull, Alexander, 2013. "Does the Military Train Men to Be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries," IZA Discussion Papers 7152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Poutvaara, Panu & Wagener, Andreas, 2011. "Ending military conscription," Munich Reprints in Economics 19821, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Albæk, Karsten & Leth-Petersen, Søren & le Maire, Daniel & Tranæs, Torben, 2013. "Does Peacetime Military Service Affect Crime?," IZA Discussion Papers 7528, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2011. "Can Compulsory Military Service Increase Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," NBER Working Papers 17694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Baldwin, Kate & Bhavnani, Rikhil R., 2013. "Ancillary experiments: Opportunities and challenges," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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