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Conscription as Regulation

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  • Casey Mulligan
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

We examine the practice of military conscription around the world from the perspective of two standard theories, and a new one, which emphasizes the fixed cost of introducing and administering the draft as a deterrent to its use. We find that, holding the relative size of the military constant, higher population countries are more likely to use the draft. We also find that French legal origin countries, which we see as facing lower fixed and variable administrative costs, are more likely to draft than are common law countries. Conscription does not seem to be influenced by democracy, and is influenced by the deadweight costs of taxation only in countries with very large militaries. The results suggest that fixed costs of introducing and administering new regulations may be an important determinant of their use.

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Paper provided by Harvard University OpenScholar in its series Working Paper with number 19486.

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Handle: RePEc:qsh:wpaper:19486

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  1. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Shleifer, Andrei & Lopez de Silanes, Florencio, 2001. "The regulation of entry," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2661, The World Bank.
  2. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio López-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Labor," Working Paper 19483, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  3. Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004. "Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 51-74, Winter.
  4. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Gerontocracy, retirement, and social security," Economics Working Papers 383, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Martin, Donald L, 1972. "The Economics of Jury Conscription," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 680-702, July-Aug..
  6. Ross, Thomas W, 1994. "Raising an Army: A Positive Theory of Military Recruitment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 109-31, April.
  7. Casey B. Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Population and Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kevin Murphy & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Persuasion in Politics," NBER Working Papers 10248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. repec:reg:rpubli:274 is not listed on IDEAS
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