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The Economics of US Civil War Conscription

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  • Timothy J. Perri

Abstract

US conscription in the Civil War is analyzed. Conscription was designed to gain federal control of enlistments, leaving state and local governments much of the fiscal and administrative responsibility for raising troops. Due to the hiring of substitutes, the payment of a fee to avoid service (commutation), and community-provided funds, only 2% of those who served were conscripted. Theory suggests that federal pay and local government bonuses increase as the marginal opposition by citizens to the number of reluctant draftees increases, and commutation could have lowered social cost. Instead, commutation was a binding ceiling on the price of substitutes. Copyright 2008, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/aler/ahn015
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal American Law and Economics Review.

Volume (Year): 10 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 424-453

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Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:10:y:2008:i:2:p:424-453

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Cited by:
  1. Timothy J. Perri, 2010. "The Draft and the Quality of Military Personnel," Working Papers 10-05, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.

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