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Do Guns Displace Books? The Impact of Compulsory Military Service on Educational Attainment

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Author Info

  • Bauer, Thomas K.

    ()
    (RWI)

  • Bender, Stefan

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

  • Paloyo, Alfredo R.

    ()
    (University of Wollongong)

  • Schmidt, Christoph M.

    ()
    (RWI)

Abstract

Compulsory military service typically drafts young men when they are at the height of their learning ability. Thus, it can be expected to depress the demand for higher education since skill atrophy and the delayed entry into the civilian labor market reduce the returns to human-capital investments. Attending university, however, might open the possibility to avoid the draft, leading to an increase in the demand for tertiary education. To estimate the causal effect of conscription on the probability to obtain a university degree, we use a regression-discontinuity design that employs special regulations associated with the introduction of conscription in Germany in 1956. We estimate conscription to increase the probability of having a university degree.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5744.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5744

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Keywords: career interruption; conscription; regression discontinuity; skill atrophy; TS2SLS;

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References

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  1. Katarina Keller & Panu Poutvaara & Andreas Wagener, 2009. "Does Military Draft Discourage Enrollment in Higher Education? Evidence from OECD Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 2838, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Imbens, Guido & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in The Netherlands," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 207-15, April.
  3. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
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  5. John Bound & Sarah E. Turner, 1999. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," NBER Working Papers 7452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Albrecht, James W. & Edin, Per-Anders & Sundström, Marianne & Vroman, Susan B., 1996. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earnings: A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Working Paper Series 1996:23, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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  8. Michael Fertig & Jochen Kluve, 2005. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 0027, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
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  11. Thomas K. Bauer & Stefan Bender & Alfredo R. Paloyo & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2009. "Evaluating the Labor-Market Effects of Compulsory Military Service - A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 0141, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  12. Di Pietro, Giorgio, 2009. "Military Conscription and University Enrolment: Evidence from Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 4212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  14. Grenet, Julien & Hart, Robert A & Roberts, J Elizabeth, 2010. "Above and beyond the call. Long-term real earnings effects of British male military conscription in the post-war years," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2010-08, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
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  19. Battistin, Erich & Rettore, Enrico, 2008. "Ineligibles and eligible non-participants as a double comparison group in regression-discontinuity designs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 715-730, February.
  20. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
  21. repec:iza:izadps:dp509 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Bender, Stefan & Haas, Anette & Klose, Christoph, 2000. "IAB Employment Subsample 1975-1995 Opportunities for Analysis Provided by the Anonymised Subsample," IZA Discussion Papers 117, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Giorgio Pietro, 2013. "Military conscription and university enrolment: evidence from Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 619-644, April.
  2. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2009. "Evaluating the Labor-Market Effects of Compulsory Military Service," IZA Discussion Papers 4535, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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