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Does a Military Draft Discourage Enrollment in Higher Education?

Listed author(s):
  • Katarina Keller
  • Panu Poutvaara
  • Andreas Wagener

Using data from 1960 to 2000 for OECD countries, we analyze the effect of compulsory military service on the demand for higher education, measured by the fraction of the working-age population enrolled in tertiary education. Based on a theoretical model, we hypothesize that a military draft has a negative effect on education. Empirically, we confirm this for the mere existence of conscription, albeit usually at low statistical significance. However, increasing intensity of its enforcement, measured by the share of the labor force conscripted by the military and the duration of service, significantly reduces enrollment in higher education.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 66 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 97-120

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201006)66:2_97:damdde_2.0.tx_2-l
DOI: 10.1628/001522108X524160
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.mohr.de/fa

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  1. Imbens, G. & Van Der Klaauw, W., 1993. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in the Netherlands," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1632, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Katarina Keller & Panu Poutvaara & Andreas Wagener, 2009. "Military Draft And Economic Growth In Oecd Countries," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(5), pages 373-393, October.
  3. 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.
  4. Lau, Morten I. & Poutvaara, Panu & Wagener, Andreas, 2004. "Dynamic costs of the draft," Munich Reprints in Economics 19265, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. World Bank, 2004. "World Development Indicators 2004," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13890.
  6. Angrist, Joshua & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 74-97, January.
  7. 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.
  8. Piero Cipollone & Alfonso Rosolia, 2007. "Social Interactions in High School: Lessons from an Earthquake," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 948-965, June.
  9. World Bank, 2003. "World Development Indicators 2003," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13920.
  10. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 313-336, June.
  11. Andreas Bergh & Günther Fink, 2008. "Higher Education Policy, Enrollment, and Income Inequality," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(1), pages 217-235.
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  14. Spencer, Daniel L & Woroniak, Alexander, 1969. "Valuing Transfer of Military-Acquired Skills to Civilian Employment," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 467-492.
  15. Eric Maurin & Theodora Xenogiani, 2007. "Demand for Education and Lbour Market Outcomes: Lessons from the Abolition of Compulsory Conscription in France," Post-Print halshs-00754194, HAL.
  16. Di Pietro, Giorgio, 2009. "Military Conscription and University Enrolment: Evidence from Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 4212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Bergh, Andreas & Fink, Günther, 2006. "Higher Education: Does Public Expenditure Increase Enrollment?," Ratio Working Papers 84, The Ratio Institute.
  18. 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.
  19. Kunze, Astrid, 2002. "The Timing of Careers and Human Capital Depreciation," IZA Discussion Papers 509, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Thomas Lemieux & David Card, 2001. "Going to College to Avoid the Draft: The Unintended Legacy of the Vietnam War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 97-102, May.
  21. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records: Errata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1284-1286, December.
  22. Sandler,Todd & Hartley,Keith, 1995. "The Economics of Defense," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521447287, December.
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