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Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?

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  • John Bound

    (University of Michigan and National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • Sarah Turner

    (University of Virginia and National Bureau of Economic Research)

Abstract

The flood of veterans enrolling in college at the end of World War II contributed to widespread rhetoric that the G.I. Bill brought about the "democratization" of American higher education. Whether military service, combined with educational benefits, led World War II veterans to increase their investments in college has received little research attention. Our estimation strategy focuses on between-cohort differences in military service, and we use census data to compare the collegiate attainment of veterans and nonveterans. The net effect of military service and G.I. benefits was substantial gains in the collegiate attainment of World War II veterans.

Suggested Citation

  • John Bound & Sarah Turner, 2002. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 784-815, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:20:y:2002:i:4:p:784-815
    DOI: 10.1086/342012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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