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Explaining the worldwide decline in the length of mandatory military service, 1970–2010

Author

Listed:
  • Danko Tarabar

    (West Virginia University)

  • Joshua C. Hall

    (West Virginia University)

Abstract

Compulsory military service has declined considerably since 1970. This explained by changes on both the extensive and intensive margins by governments. While the decision to use conscription for military purposes has been studied extensively, in this paper we examine empirically the factors underlying the decline in the duration of military service obligations. Employing data from the Economic Freedom of the World index observed at 5-year intervals from 1970 to 2010, we find that the probability of a shorter military service time is positively associated with smaller country populations, smaller lagged army sizes, increases in primary schooling among young males, and having common law legal origins. Our empirical approach also highlights how the elderly population exhibits a nonlinear relationship with the length of conscriptees’ time in uniform.

Suggested Citation

  • Danko Tarabar & Joshua C. Hall, 2016. "Explaining the worldwide decline in the length of mandatory military service, 1970–2010," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 168(1), pages 55-74, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:168:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-016-0349-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-016-0349-0
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    Cited by:

    1. Puhani, Patrick A. & Sterrenberg, Margret K., 2021. "Effects of Mandatory Military Service on Wages and Other Socioeconomic Outcomes," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-684, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    2. Puhani, Patrick A. & Sterrenberg, Margret K., 2021. "Effects of Mandatory Military Service on Wages and Other Socioeconomic Outcomes," GLO Discussion Paper Series 835, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Puhani, Patrick & Sterrenberg, Margret, 2021. "Effects of Mandatory Military Service on Wages and Other Socioeconomic Outcomes," Economics Working Paper Series 2105, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    4. 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.
    5. Puhani, Patrick A. & Sterrenberg, Margret K., 2021. "Effects of Mandatory Military Service on Wages and Other Socioeconomic Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 14352, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conscription; Economic freedom; Ordered probit; All volunteer force;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War

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