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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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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.3.2.119
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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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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," NBER Working Papers 6191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do About It?," NBER Working Papers 5451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  5. 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.
  6. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2004. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," NBER Working Papers 10777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. 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.
  9. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  10. 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.
  11. Casey B. Mulligan, 2005. "Conscription as Regulation," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 85-111.
  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.
  13. 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.
  14. Joshua Angrist & Stacey Chen & Brigham Frandsen, 2009. "Did Vietnam Veterans Get Sicker in the 1990s? The Complicated Effects of Military Service on Self-Reported Health," Working Papers 09-19, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  15. 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.
  16. Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen, 2007. "Long-term consequences of vietnam-era conscription: schooling, experience, and earnings," NBER Working Papers 13411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Carlos Dobkin & Reza Shabani, 2009. "The Health Effects Of Military Service: Evidence From The Vietnam Draft," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(1), pages 69-80, 01.
  18. 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).
  19. 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.
  20. Dalton Conley & Jennifer A. Heerwig, 2009. "The Long-Term Effects of Military Conscription on Mortality: Estimates from the Vietnam-era Draft Lottery," NBER Working Papers 15105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Blog mentions

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. 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.
  2. Peter Siminski & Simon Ville & Alexander Paull, 2013. "Does the Military Train Men to be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia’s Conscription Lotteries," Economics Working Papers wp13-01, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  3. 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).
  4. 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).
  5. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2012. "Can Compulsory Military Service Raise Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 57-93, October.
  6. 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.
  7. Panu Poutvaara & Andreas Wagener, 2011. "Ending Military Conscription," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(2), pages 36-43, 07.

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