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To Draft or not to Draft? Efficiency, Generational Incidence, and Political Economy of Military Conscription

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  • Panu Poutvaara

    ()

  • Andreas Wagener

Abstract

We study the efficiency and distributional consequences of establishing and abolishing the draft in a dynamic model with overlapping generations, taking into account endogenous human capital formation as well as government budget constraints. The introduction of the draft initially benefits the older generation while harming the young and all future generations. Its Pareto-improving abolition requires levying age-dependent taxes on the young. These being infeasible, abolition of the draft would harm the old. The intergenerational incidence of the gains and losses from its introduction and abolition helps to explain the political allure of the draft.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1454.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1454

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Keywords: draft; conscription; education; intergenerational fairness;

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References

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  1. Fisher, Anthony C, 1969. "The Cost of the Draft and the Cost of Ending the Draft," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 239-54, June.
  2. Poutvaara, Panu & Wagener, Andreas, 2007. "To draft or not to draft? Inefficiency, generational incidence, and political economy of military conscription," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 975-987, December.
  3. Joshua Angrist, 1989. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," Working Papers 631, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Casey Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Conscription as Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Morten I. Lau & Panu Poutvaara & Andreas Wagener, 2004. "Dynamic Costs of the Draft," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(4), pages 381-406, November.
  7. Sandler,Todd & Hartley,Keith, 1995. "The Economics of Defense," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521447287, April.
  8. John T. Warner & Beth J. Asch, 2001. "The Record and Prospects of the All-Volunteer Military in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 169-192, Spring.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Perri Tim, 2010. "Deferments and the Relative Cost of Conscription," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-29, November.
  2. Martin Gonzalez Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," Working Papers 72, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2004.
  3. 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.
  4. Poutvaara, Panu & Wagener, Andreas, . "The political economy of conscription," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Yew-Kwang Ng, 2008. "Why is the Military Draft Common? Conscription and Increasing Returns," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 9(2), pages 373-384, November.
  6. Antonis Adam, 2012. "Military conscription as a means of stabilizing democratic regimes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 715-730, March.
  7. Poutvaara, Panu & Wagener, Andreas, 2005. "To Draft or Not to Draft? Efficiency, Generational Incidence, and Political Economy of Military Conscription," IZA Discussion Papers 1559, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Timothy Perri, 2011. "Can A Draft Induce More Human Capital Investment in the Military?," Working Papers 11-15, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  9. Di Pietro, Giorgio, 2009. "Military Conscription and University Enrolment: Evidence from Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 4212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Vesa Kanniainen & Staffan Ringbom, 2014. "Security Gradient and National Defense - The Optimal Choice between a Draft Army and a Professional Army," CESifo Working Paper Series 4707, CESifo Group Munich.

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