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Deterrence Capacity, Relative Performance, Adjustment Costs, Hazard, Killing Aversion and the Optimal Enlistment Age

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Early-age enlistment increases a small country's potential army size and thereby its attack-deterrence capacity. However, physical and psychological injuries and, ultimately, death generate a loss of quality-adjusted life-years that reduces the net benefit from early-age enlistment. The net benefit from early or later age recruitment is also affected by the rise and decline of the individual's military performance and civilian productivity and by changes in his adjustment costs over the lifespan. The simulations of an optimization model incorporating these elements suggest that if the intensity of the rise and decline of the individual's military performance is sufficiently larger than the intensity of the rise and decline of his civilian productivity, there exists an interior optimal enlistment age greater than the commonly practiced eighteen. In such a case, most of the simulation results are closely scattered around twenty-one despite large parameter changes.

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File URL: http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@commerce/@econ/documents/doc/uow012184.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia in its series Economics Working Papers with number wp05-01.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp05-01

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Postal: School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
Phone: +612 4221-3659
Fax: +612 4221-3725
Web page: http://business.uow.edu.au/econ/index.html
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Keywords: Economics; enlistment-age; risk; cost and benefit; decision rule;

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  1. Irvine, I J, 1981. "The Use of Cross-Section Microdata in Life Cycle Models: An Application to Inequality Theory in Nonstationary Economies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 301-16, May.
  2. Levy, Amnon, 2003. "A Decision Rule for Transplanting Non-Cadaveric Organs," Economics Working Papers wp03-13, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  3. 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.
  4. John T. Warner & Beth J. Asch, 2001. "The Record and Prospects of the All-Volunteer Military in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 169-192, Spring.
  5. Bleichrodt, Han & Quiggin, John, 1999. "Life-cycle preferences over consumption and health: when is cost-effectiveness analysis equivalent to cost-benefit analysis?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 681-708, December.
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