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Does Peacetime Military Service Affect Crime?

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Author Info

  • Albæk, Karsten

    ()
    (SFI - Danish National Centre for Social Research)

  • Leth-Petersen, Søren

    ()
    (University of Copenhagen)

  • le Maire, Daniel

    ()
    (University of Copenhagen)

  • Tranæs, Torben

    ()
    (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit)

Abstract

Draft lottery data combined with Danish longitudinal administrative records show that military service can reduce criminal activity for youth offenders who enter service at ages 19-22. For this group property crime is reduced for up to five years from the beginning of service, and the effect is therefore not only a result of incapacitation while enrolled. We find no effect of service on violent crimes. We also find no effect of military service on educational attainment and unemployment, but we find negative effects of service on earnings. These results suggest that military service does not upgrade productive human capital directly, but rather impacts criminal activity through other channels, for example by changing the attitudes to criminal activity for this group.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7528.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7528

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Keywords: crime; military service; activation;

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  1. 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.
  2. Lance Lochner, 2011. "Non-Production Benefits of Education: Crime, Health, and Good Citizenship," NBER Working Papers 16722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Joshua Angrist, 1989. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," Working Papers 631, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen, 2011. "Schooling and the Vietnam-Era GI Bill: Evidence from the Draft Lottery," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 96-118, April.
  5. Susumu Imai & Kala Krishna, 2004. "Employment, Deterrence, And Crime In A Dynamic Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 845-872, 08.
  6. Machin Stephen & Marie Olivier & Vujić Sunčica, 2010. "The Crime Reducing Effect of Education," ROA Research Memorandum 013, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  7. Joshua D. Angrist, 1995. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," NBER Working Papers 5192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Imbens, G. & Van Der Klaauw, W., 1993. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in the Netherlands," Working Papers, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University 93-24, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  10. Peter Fallesen & Lars Pico Geerdsen & Susumu Imai & Torben Tranaes, 2010. "The Effect of Workfare Policy on Crime," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 1236, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  11. Card, David & Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2011. "Can Compulsory Military Service Raise Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," IZA Discussion Papers 5915, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Luallen, Jeremy, 2006. "School's out... forever: A study of juvenile crime, at-risk youths and teacher strikes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 75-103, January.
  13. Sebastian Galiani & Mart�n A. Rossi & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2011. "Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentine Draft Lottery," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 119-36, April.
  14. 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.
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