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

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Author Info

  • Poutvaara, Panu

    ()
    (University of Munich)

  • Wagener, Andreas

    ()
    (Leibniz University of Hannover)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1559.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: European Journal of Political Economy, 2007, 23 (4), 975-987
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1559

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Keywords: conscription; education; intergenerational fairness; draft;

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References

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  1. Panu Poutvaara & Andreas Wagener, 2005. "To Draft or not to Draft? Efficiency, Generational Incidence, and Political Economy of Military Conscription," CESifo Working Paper Series 1454, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Casey Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Conscription as Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Imbens, Guido & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in The Netherlands," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 207-15, April.
  4. Joshua Angrist, 1989. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 631, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Lau, Morten I. & Poutvaara, Panu & Wagener, Andreas, 2004. "Dynamic costs of the draft," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 19265, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Sandler,Todd & Hartley,Keith, 1995. "The Economics of Defense," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521447287.
  7. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 169-192, Spring.
  8. Fisher, Anthony C, 1969. "The Cost of the Draft and the Cost of Ending the Draft," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 239-54, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Di Pietro, Giorgio, 2009. "Military Conscription and University Enrolment: Evidence from Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 4212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Martin Gonzalez Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," Working Papers, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia 72, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2004.
  3. Tim Perri, 2013. "Can a draft induce more human capital investment in the military?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(2), pages 905-913.
  4. Panu Poutvaara & Andreas Wagener, 2009. "The Political Economy of Conscription," CESifo Working Paper Series 2821, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Poutvaara, Panu & Wagener, Andreas, 2007. "To draft or not to draft? Inefficiency, generational incidence, and political economy of military conscription," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 19826, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Antonis Adam, 2012. "Military conscription as a means of stabilizing democratic regimes," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 715-730, March.
  7. 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.
  8. Panu Poutvaara & Andreas Wagener, 2011. "Ending Military Conscription," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(2), pages 36-43, 07.
  9. 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.
  10. Perri Tim, 2010. "Deferments and the Relative Cost of Conscription," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-29, November.

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