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Does peacetime military service affect crime? New evidence from Denmark’s conscription lotteries

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  • Lyk-Jensen, Stéphanie Vincent

Abstract

While military service is thought to promote civic values, evidence on its benefits on criminal behavior is mixed. This paper uses the Danish draft lottery to estimate the causal effect of peacetime military service on post-service criminal convictions. The data includes the entire universe of eligible men born 1976–1983. I find that military service does not affect crime in general or any kind of crime in particular, nor does it reduce crime for juvenile offenders. However, I find a temporary disruption in the educational path at age 25, but no impact on the likelihood of being unemployed.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:245-262
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2017.11.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:147-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gabriela Ertola Navajas & Paula Lopez Villalba & Martín Rossi & Antonia Vazquez, 2019. "Shaping Personality and Beliefs: The Role of Military Conscription," Working Papers 132, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jan 2019.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Military service; Draft lottery; Criminal behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War

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