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Long-Term Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: New Estimates Using Social Security Data

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  • Joshua D. Angrist
  • Stacey H. Chen
  • Jae Song

Abstract

We use the draft lottery to construct instrumental variables (IV) estimates of the impact of Vietnam-era military service on veterans' Social Security (SSA) earnings through 2007. We also use SSA data to construct IV estimates for employment (as measured by an indicator for positive earnings) and disability status (as measured by an indicator for social security disability program application). New findings for recent years show surprisingly rapid convergence in veteran and nonveteran earnings: by the early 1990s, there was no longer a substantial Vietnam-era conscription penalty. The IV estimates also show no effect on employment or disability rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen & Jae Song, 2011. "Long-Term Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: New Estimates Using Social Security Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 334-338, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:334-38
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.3.334
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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 1284-1286, December.
    3. Angrist, Joshua & Chen, Stacey, 2008. "Long-Term Economic Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: Schooling, Experience and Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 3628, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 313-336, June.
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