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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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Web page: http://www.economics.ubc.ca/

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  1. 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.
  2. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1991. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Some Recent Results," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 519-39, August.
  6. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Angrist, Joshua & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 74-97, January.
  8. Casey B. Mulligan, 2005. "Conscription as Regulation," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 85-111.
  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. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "New Deal policies and the persistence of the Great Depression: a general equilibrium analysis," Working Papers 597, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Ellen R. McGrattan & Lee E. Ohanian, 2008. "Does neoclassical theory account for the effects of big fiscal shocks? Evidence from World War II," Staff Report 315, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. 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.
  15. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1.
  16. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," NBER Working Papers 9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. repec:reg:wpaper:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. 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.
  20. Siu, Henry E., 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 575-607, April.
  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. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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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