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The Record and Prospects of the All-Volunteer Military in the United States

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  • John T. Warner
  • Beth J. Asch

Abstract

From the onset of World War II until July 1973, the draft was a fact of life for male youth in the United States. Since then, America's armed forces have been staffed by volunteers. Recent recruiting difficulties have precipitated calls from some quarters for a return to conscription. This paper reviews the economic issues involved in the choice over conscription versus volunteerism and it reviews the volunteer force record in the U. S. Despite recent recruiting difficulties, the case for the volunteer force is more compelling today than it was in 1973.

Suggested Citation

  • John T. Warner & Beth J. Asch, 2001. "The Record and Prospects of the All-Volunteer Military in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 169-192, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:15:y:2001:i:2:p:169-192
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.2.169
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.15.2.169
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ross, Thomas W, 1994. "Raising an Army: A Positive Theory of Military Recruitment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 109-131, April.
    2. Fisher, Anthony C, 1969. "The Cost of the Draft and the Cost of Ending the Draft," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 239-254, June.
    3. Browning, Edgar K, 1987. "On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 11-23, March.
    4. W. Lee Hansen & Burton A. Weisbrod, 1967. "Economics of the Military Draft," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 395-421.
    5. Joshua D. Angrist, 1998. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 249-288, March.
    6. Joshua D. Angrist, 1990. "The Draft Lottery and Voluntary Enlistment in the Vietnam Era," NBER Working Papers 3514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Warner, John T., 1995. "The economics of military manpower," Handbook of Defense Economics,in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 347-398 Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War

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