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Evaluating the Labor Market Performance of Veterans Using a Matched Comparison Group Design

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  • Barry T. Hirsch
  • Stephen L. Mehay

Abstract

The effect of active-duty service on civilian earnings is estimated using the Reserve Components Surveys, permitting a matched comparison between reservists who are veterans and reservists without active-duty service. Estimated treatment effects control for selection by the military and individuals, due in part to identical active-duty and reserve entrance requirements. The average impact of active-duty service on civilian earnings is 3 percent among the reservist population, reflecting effects of essentially zero for enlisted personnel and 10 percent for officers. Among white enlisted personnel veteran effects are negative but small, while averaging about 5 percent among African-Americans. Wage penalties resulting from Vietnam-era service are larger for white draftees than volunteers, while African-American draftees and volunteers realized gains.

Suggested Citation

  • Barry T. Hirsch & Stephen L. Mehay, 2003. "Evaluating the Labor Market Performance of Veterans Using a Matched Comparison Group Design," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:38:y:2003:i:3:p673-700
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    Cited by:

    1. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2012. "Can Compulsory Military Service Raise Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 57-93, October.
    2. Cesur, Resul & Sabia, Joseph J. & Tekin, Erdal, 2015. "Combat exposure and migraine headache: Evidence from exogenous deployment assignment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 81-99.
    3. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2011. "Can Compulsory Military Service Increase Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," NBER Working Papers 17694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Muhammad Asali, 2017. "Military Service and Future Earnings Revisited," Working Papers 005-17 JEL Codes: J24, J3, International School of Economics at TSU, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
    5. Myoung-Jae Lee & Yip Chun Seng, 2005. "Non-market Leadership Experience and Labor Market Success: Evidence From Military Rank," Working Papers 12-2005, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    6. Barry T. Hirsch, 2008. "Wage Gaps Large and Small," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 914-933, April.
    7. Cesur, Resul & Sabia, Joseph J. & Tekin, Erdal, 2013. "The psychological costs of war: Military combat and mental health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 51-65.
    8. Resul Cesur & Alexander Chesney & Joseph J. Sabia, 2016. "Combat Exposure, Cigarette Consumption, And Substance Use," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1705-1726, July.
    9. P. Routon, 2014. "The Effect of 21st Century Military Service on Civilian Labor and Educational Outcomes," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 15-38, March.
    10. Alberto Davila & Marie T. Mora, 2012. "Terrorism and Patriotism: On the Earnings of US Veterans following September 11, 2001," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 261-266, May.
    11. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:6:p:1176-1194 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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