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Does the Military Train Men to Be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries

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  • Siminski, Peter

    ()
    (University of Wollongong)

  • Ville, Simon

    ()
    (University of Wollongong)

  • Paull, Alexander

    (University of Wollongong)

Abstract

Combat is the most intense form of military service, but several aspects of the training experience, which explicitly prepares people for violent warfare, are hypothesized to link service to violent crime. Using Australia's Vietnam-era conscription lotteries for identification and criminal court data from Australia's three largest states, we seek to estimate the effect of army training on violent crime. Using various specifications, we find no evidence that military training causes violent crime, and our point estimates are always negative. In our preferred specification (using only non-deployed cohorts), we rule out with 95% confidence any positive violent crime effects larger than 3.6% relative to the mean.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7152.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7152

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Keywords: violent crime; military service; natural experiment; Australia;

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  15. Simon Ville & Peter Siminski, 2011. "A Fair And Equitable Method Of Recruitment? Conscription By Ballot Into The Australian Army During The Vietnam War," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 51(3), pages 277-296, November.
  16. Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen & Jae Song, 2011. "Long-Term Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: New Estimates Using Social Security Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 334-38, May.
  17. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records: Errata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1284-86, December.
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  22. Siminski, Peter & Ville, Simon, 2010. "Long-Run Mortality Effects of Vietnam-Era Army Service: Evidence from Australia’s Conscription Lotteries," Economics Working Papers, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia wp10-06, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
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