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A Fair and Equitable Method of Recruitment? Conscription by Ballot into the Australian Army during the Vietnam War

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Abstract

Australia’s commitment to the Vietnam War drew on the selective conscription of additional manpower through 16 biannual ballots. 20-year-old men were liable to serve if their date of birth was drawn out. The random nature of the ballot was seen as an equitable method of selection for a system of labour coercion that was potentially life-threatening. We investigate the various stages of conscription of these ‘national servicemen’ to undertake service in Vietnam throughout the war and evaluate the extent to which the processes provided for fair and equitable selection. Comparisons are drawn with a similar process of Vietnam-War era conscription in the United States.

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File URL: http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@commerce/@econ/documents/doc/uow103923.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 wp11-05.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp11-05

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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: Australia; conscription; ballot; Vietnam War;

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  1. 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.
  2. Joshua Angrist, 1989. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," Working Papers 631, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Peter Siminski & Simon Ville, 2011. "Long-Run Mortality Effects of Vietnam-Era Army Service: Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 345-49, May.
  4. Levy, Amnon, 2007. "Optimal enlistment age: A cost-benefit analysis and some simulations," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 180(1), pages 418-425, July.
  5. Withers, Glenn A, 1972. "The Wage Cost of an All-Volunteer Army," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 48(123), pages 321-39, September.
  6. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records: Errata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1284-86, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Siminski, Peter & Ville, Simon & Paull, Alexander, 2013. "Does the Military Train Men to Be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries," IZA Discussion Papers 7152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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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