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Birth Rates and the Vietnam Draft

  • Marianne P. Bitler
  • Lucie Schmidt

The Vietnam conflict was the defining event for a generation, with nearly 8 million Americans serving in the armed forces. A large literature in economics has focused on effects of Vietnam-Era service post-war, while little research looks at contemporaneous effects of the mobilization, despite the potential for this mobilization to change marriage markets for particular cohorts. We use exogenous variation across states and over time in men drafted per 100 men 19-25 to look at the effects of the wartime mobilization on birth rates. We find robust evidence that higher rates of inducted men led to significantly lower birth rates.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.3.566
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 566-69

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:3:p:566-69
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  1. Shoshana Grossbard & Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, 2008. "Cohort-level sex ratio effects on women’s labor force participation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 309-309, September.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, June.
  3. Michael Kvasnicka & Dirk Bethmann, 2007. "World War II, Missing Men, and Out-of-wedlock Childbearing," Discussion Paper Series 0730, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  4. Andrea Kutinova, 2009. "Paternity Deferments And The Timing Of Births: U.S. Natality During The Vietnam War," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(2), pages 351-365, 04.
  5. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luís Vasconcelos, 2010. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," Research Working Papers 36, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
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