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The fiscal role of conscription in the US World War II effort

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  • Siu, Henry

Abstract

I consider the role of conscription as a fiscal shock absorber in times of war. Conscription of military personnel allows the fiscal authority to minimize wartime government expenditure, and hence, minimize tax distortions associated with war finance. I develop a simple dynamic general equilibrium model to articulate this view, and calibrate the model to mimic the U.S. World War II experience. Analysis of the calibrated model indicates that the value of conscription as a fiscal policy tool is quantitatively large.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series Economics working papers with number siu-06-04-26-12-42-20.

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Length: 0 pages
Date of creation: 26 Apr 2006
Date of revision: 26 Apr 2006
Handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:siu-06-04-26-12-42-20

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  1. Siu, Henry E., 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 575-607, April.
  2. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  3. Fisher, Anthony C, 1969. "The Cost of the Draft and the Cost of Ending the Draft," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 239-54, June.
  4. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1989. "Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?," Working Papers 634, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-52, August.
  6. Joines, Douglas H, 1981. "Estimates of Effective Marginal Tax Rates on Factor Incomes," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 191-226, April.
  7. Aldy, Joseph E. & Viscusi, W. Kip, 2003. "The Value of Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Working paper 282, Regulation2point0.
  8. Casey Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Conscription as Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Seater, John J., 1981. "The market value of outstanding government debt, 1919-1975," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 85-101.
  10. R. Anton Braun & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1993. "The Macroeconomics of War and Peace," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1993, Volume 8, pages 197-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Tom Ross, 1988. "Raising An Army: A Positive Theory Of Military Recruitment," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 88-08, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  12. Ellen R. M cG rattan & Lee E. Ohanian, 2010. "Does Neoclassical Theory Account For The Effects Of Big Fiscal Shocks? Evidence From World War Ii," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(2), pages 509-532, 05.
  13. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1991. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: some recent results," Staff Report 147, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Gordon, Robert J, 1969. "$45 Billion of U.S. Private Investment Has Been Mislaid," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 221-38, June.
  15. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
  16. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1, July.
  17. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  19. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Ohanian, Lee E, 1997. "The Macroeconomic Effects of War Finance in the United States: World War II and the Korean War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 23-40, March.
  21. Alexander J. Field, 2003. "The Most Technologically Progressive Decade of the Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1399-1413, September.
  22. Altman, Stuart H & Barro, Robert J, 1971. "Officer Supply-The Impact of Pay, the Draft, and the Vietnam War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 649-64, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
  2. Valerie A. Ramey & Neville Francis, 2009. "A Century of Work and Leisure," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 189-224, July.
  3. Gunji, Hiroshi & Miyazaki, Kenji, 2011. "Estimates of average marginal tax rates on factor incomes in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 81-106, June.

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