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Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentine Draft Lottery

Author

Listed:
  • Sebastian Galiani
  • Martín A. Rossi
  • Ernesto Schargrodsky

Abstract

We estimate the causal effect of mandatory participation in military service on individuals' subsequent involvement in criminal activities. To identify this causal effect, we exploit the random assignment of young men to conscription in Argentina through a draft lottery. Using a dataset that includes draft eligibility, participation in military service, and criminal records, we find that conscription increases the likelihood of developing a criminal record. The effects are significant not only for cohorts that provided military service during wartime, but also for those that served during peacetime. Our results do not support the introduction of conscription for anti-crime purposes. JEL (H56, K42, O17)

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Galiani & Martín A. Rossi & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2011. "Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentine Draft Lottery," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 119-136, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:3:y:2011:i:2:p:119-36
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.3.2.119
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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