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Long-Run Mortality Effects of Vietnam-Era Army Service: Evidence from Australia’s Conscription Lotteries

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Abstract

We estimate the effect of Vietnam era Army service on mortality, exploiting Australia’s conscription lotteries for identification. We utilise population data on deaths during 1994-2007 and militarypersonnel records. The estimates are identified by over 51,000 compliers induced to enlist in the Army, including almost 16,000 who served in Vietnam. The implicit comparison group is the set of men who did not serve in the Army, but who would have served had their date of birth been selected in the ballot. We find no statistically significant effects on mortality overall, nor for any cause of death (by ICD-10 Chapter). Under reasonable assumptions on the death rate of compliers, the results can be expressed as relative risks (RR) of death during 1994-2007. The estimated overall RR associated with Army service is 1.03 (95% CI: 0.92, 1.19). On the assumption that Army service affected mortality only for those who served in Vietnam, the estimated RR for Vietnam Veterans is 1.06 (95% CI: 0.81, 1.51). We also find no evidence to support a hypothesis of offsetting effects due to domestic Army service (beneficial to longevity) and service in Vietnam (detrimental).

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File URL: http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@commerce/@econ/documents/doc/uow090520.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 wp10-06.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp10-06

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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: mortality; Vietnam veterans; Australia; conscription lottery;

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  1. Angrist, Joshua D. & Chen, Stacey H. & Frandsen, Brigham R., 2010. "Did Vietnam veterans get sicker in the 1990s? The complicated effects of military service on self-reported health," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 824-837, December.
  2. Peter Siminski, 2013. "Employment Effects of Army Service and Veterans' Compensation: Evidence from the Australian Vietnam-Era Conscription Lotteries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 87-97, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Peter Siminski & Simon Ville & Alexander Paull, 2013. "Does the Military Train Men to be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia’s Conscription Lotteries," Economics Working Papers wp13-01, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  2. Siminski, Peter, 2010. "Employment Effects of Army Service and Veterans’ Compensation: Evidence from the Australian Vietnam-Era Conscription Lotteries," Economics Working Papers wp10-13, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  3. Simon Ville & Peter Siminski, 2011. "A Fair and Equitable Method of Recruitment? Conscription by Ballot into the Australian Army during the Vietnam War," Economics Working Papers wp11-16, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  4. Kasey Buckles & Andreas Hagemann & Ofer Malamud & Melinda S. Morrill & Abigail K. Wozniak, 2013. "The Effect of College Education on Health," NBER Working Papers 19222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Peter Siminski & Simon Ville, 2012. "I Was Only Nineteen, 45 Years Ago: What Can we Learn from Australia’s Conscription Lotteries?," Economics Working Papers wp12-06, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

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