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Evaluating the Labor-Market Effects of Compulsory Military Service

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Author Info

  • Bauer, Thomas K.

    ()
    (RWI)

  • Bender, Stefan

    ()
    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

  • Paloyo, Alfredo R.

    ()
    (Ruhr Graduate School in Economics)

  • Schmidt, Christoph M.

    ()
    (RWI)

Abstract

We identify the causal effect of compulsory military service on conscripts’ subsequent labor-market outcomes by exploiting the regression-discontinuity design of the military draft in Germany during the 1950s. Unbiased estimates of the effect of military service on lifetime earnings, wages, and employment are obtained by comparing men born before July 1, 1937 (the "White Cohort") who were exempted from compulsory military service to men who were born on or shortly after this threshold date and hence faced a positive probability of being drafted. We find that the putative earnings advantage and wage premium of those who served in the armed forces vanish when selection effects are taken into account.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4535.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: European Economic Review, 2012, 56 (4), 814-829
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4535

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Keywords: causal effect; quasi-experimental estimators; conscription;

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Cited by:
  1. Grenet, Julien & Hart, Robert A. & Roberts, J. Elizabeth, 2011. "Above and Beyond the Call: Long-Term Real Earnings Effects of British Male Military Conscription in the Post-War Years," IZA Discussion Papers 5563, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. Giorgio Pietro, 2013. "Military conscription and university enrolment: evidence from Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 619-644, April.
  4. Siminski, Peter & Ville, Simon & Paull, Alexander, 2013. "Does the Military Train Men to Be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries," IZA Discussion Papers 7152, 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. Alfredo R. Paloyo, 2010. "Compulsory Military Service in Germany Revisited," Ruhr Economic Papers 0206, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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