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Does Peacetime Military Service Affect Crime?

Author

Listed:
  • Karsten Albæk
  • Søren Leth‐Petersen
  • Daniel le Maire
  • Torben Tranæs

Abstract

Draft lottery data combined with Danish longitudinal administrative records show that military service can reduce criminal activity for youth offenders. For this group, property crime is reduced, and our results indicate that the effect is unlikely to be the result of incapacitation only. We find no effect of military service on violent crime, on educational attainment, or on employment and earnings, either in the short run or in the long run. These results suggest that military service does not upgrade productive human capital directly, but rather affects criminal activity through other channels (e.g., by changing attitudes to criminal activity).

Suggested Citation

  • Karsten Albæk & Søren Leth‐Petersen & Daniel le Maire & Torben Tranæs, 2017. "Does Peacetime Military Service Affect Crime?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(3), pages 512-540, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:119:y:2017:i:3:p:512-540
    DOI: 10.1111/sjoe.12181
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Imbens, Guido & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in The Netherlands," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 207-215, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cesur, Resul & Sabia, Joseph J. & Tekin, Erdal, 2020. "Post-9/11 War Deployments Increased Crime among Veterans," IZA Discussion Papers 13304, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. María Amelia Gibbons & Martín Rossi, 2020. "Military Conscription, Sexist Attitudes, and Intimate Partner Violence," Working Papers 140, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2020.
    3. Balestra, Simone, 2018. "Gun prevalence and suicide," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 163-177.
    4. Peter Siminski & Simon Ville & Alexander Paull, 2016. "Does the military turn men into criminals? New evidence from Australia’s conscription lotteries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 197-218, January.
    5. Gabriela Ertola Navajas & Paula Lopez Villalba & Martín Rossi & Antonia Vazquez, 2019. "The Long-Term Effect of Military Conscription on Personality and Beliefs," Working Papers 132, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Apr 2020.
    6. Lyk-Jensen, Stéphanie Vincent, 2018. "Does peacetime military service affect crime? New evidence from Denmark’s conscription lotteries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 245-262.
    7. D. Mark Anderson & Daniel I. Rees, 2015. "Deployments, Combat Exposure, and Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(1), pages 235-267.
    8. Nguyen Dinh Tuan Vuong & David Flath, 2019. "Conscription and the developing countries," International Journal of Economic Policy Studies, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 119-146, January.
    9. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2018. "Labour economics and crime," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 147-148.

    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
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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