The Political Economy of Conscription
AbstractThough in decline recently, military conscription is still a widely used mode of staffing armies. Since not many valid economic, social or military arguments in favor of the draft can be put forward, the question emerges why societies choose to rely on it. In this survey we explain the political allure of military conscription by its specific intra- and intergenerational incidence as a tax. From a public choice perspective, there is always a vast majority of people in favor of the introduction and maintenance of military draft, as compared to a professional army. Empirical evidence for this conclusion appears to be mixed, however. Political preferences with respect to conscription involve concerns about its unfairness and questionable record on social accounts. Special interests may also matter.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4429.
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Christopher J. Coyne and Rachel L. Mathers (eds.), The Handbook on the Political Economy of War, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011
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Other versions of this item:
- H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-10-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2009-10-10 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-HPE-2009-10-10 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2009-10-10 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2009-10-10 (Positive Political Economics)
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