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Effects of Work-Related Absences on Families: Evidence from the Gulf War

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  • Joshua D. Angrist
  • John H. Johnson, IV

Abstract

Labor economists and policy makers have long been interested in work-family interactions. Work generates income but also reduces the time families have to spend together. Many soldiers who were mobilized for Gulf War service were away from home for an extended period of time, so Gulf War mobilization makes for an interesting case study of work-related absences by both husbands and wives. We estimate the effect of Gulf War deployment on employment rates for soldiers' spouses, divorce rates, and disability rates among soldiers' children. Data from the 1992 Survey of Officers and Enlisted Personnel show that personnel deployed to the Gulf spent 3-6 more months away from home than non-deployed personnel. The estimates suggest that deployments of a male soldier reduced wives' employment rates, probably because of added child care responsibilities. Deployment of a female soldier left husbands' employment rates unchanged, but female deployment is associated with significantly higher post-deployment divorce rates. Finally sample of men and women show no significant increase in the incidence of temporary disabilities among the children of deployed personnel. This may be because for most military families, deployment was not associated with a change in living standards.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6679.

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Date of creation: Aug 1998
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Publication status: published as Joshua D. Angrist & John H. Johnson & IV, 2000. "Effects of work-related absences on families: Evidence from the Gulf War," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, ILR School, Cornell University, vol. 54(1), pages 41-58, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6679

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  1. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
  2. Joshua D. Angrist & William N. Evans, 1996. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," NBER Working Papers 5778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1996. "The Effect of Teen Childbearing and Single Parenthood on Childhood Disabilities and Progress in School," NBER Working Papers 5807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blau, Francine D & Grossberg, Adam J, 1992. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 474-81, August.
  5. Saul D. Hoffman & Greg J. Duncan, 1995. "The Effect of Incomes, Wages, and AFDC Benefits on Marital Disruption," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 19-41.
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Cited by:
  1. Brighita Negrusa & Sebastian Negrusa, 2014. "Home Front: Post-Deployment Mental Health and Divorces," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 895-916, June.
  2. Cesur, Resul & Sabia, Joseph J. & Tekin, Erdal, 2011. "The Psychological Costs of War: Military Combat and Mental Health," IZA Discussion Papers 5615, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2004. "Identity and Racial Harassment," IZA Discussion Papers 1149, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2008. "The Effect of Community-Level Socio-Economic Conditions on Threatening Racial Encounters," CEPR Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University 589, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2006. "Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Local Consumer Markets: Exploiting the Army’s Procedures for Matching Personnel to Duty Locations," IZA Discussion Papers 2389, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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