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The long-term effects of military conscription on educational attainment and wages

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  • Frank Hubers

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  • Dinand Webbink

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Abstract

This study investigates the long-term effects of peace-time military conscription on educational attainment and earnings by exploiting a policy change that exempted a complete birth cohort from military service. We find that compulsory military service decreases the proportion of Dutch university graduates by 1.5 percentage points from a baseline of 12.3 per cent. In addition, being a conscript reduces the probability of obtaining a university degree by almost four percentage points. The effect of military service on earnings is also negative and long-lasting. Approximately 18 years after military service, we still find a negative effect of 3 to 4 per cent. The effect of conscription on educational attainment does not fully explain the wage reduction. Jel classification H56; J31; J24 Copyright Hubers and Webbink; licensee Springer. 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Hubers & Dinand Webbink, 2015. "The long-term effects of military conscription on educational attainment and wages," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-16, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izalbr:v:4:y:2015:i:1:p:1-16:10.1186/s40172-015-0026-4
    DOI: 10.1186/s40172-015-0026-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    3. 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.
    4. Mousteri, Victoria & Daly, Michael & Delaney, Liam & Tynelius, Per & Rasmussen, Finn, 2019. "Adolescent mental health and unemployment over the lifespan: Population evidence from Sweden," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 222(C), pages 305-314.
    5. Vincent Aidan O'Sullivan, 2016. "The effect of military service on earnings in Britain," Working Papers 125437295, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    6. Reizer, Balázs & Háló, Buda, 2020. "A sorkatonaság munkaerőpiaci hatásai Magyarországon [The effect of compulsory military service on wages in Hungary]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 878-910.

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