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To Draft or not to Draft? Efficiency, Generational Incidence, and Political Economy of Military Conscription

  • Panu Poutvaara

    ()

  • Andreas Wagener

We study the efficiency and distributional consequences of establishing and abolishing the draft in a dynamic model with overlapping generations, taking into account endogenous human capital formation as well as government budget constraints. The introduction of the draft initially benefits the older generation while harming the young and all future generations. Its Pareto-improving abolition requires levying age-dependent taxes on the young. These being infeasible, abolition of the draft would harm the old. The intergenerational incidence of the gains and losses from its introduction and abolition helps to explain the political allure of the draft.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2005/wp-cesifo-2005-04/cesifo1_wp1454.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1454.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1454
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521447287 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Poutvaara, Panu & Wagener, Andreas, 2007. "To draft or not to draft? Inefficiency, generational incidence, and political economy of military conscription," Munich Reprints in Economics 19826, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Casey Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, . "Conscription as Regulation," Working Paper 19486, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  4. Joshua Angrist, 1989. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," Working Papers 631, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Imbens, Guido & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in The Netherlands," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 207-15, April.
  6. 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.
  7. Fisher, Anthony C, 1969. "The Cost of the Draft and the Cost of Ending the Draft," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 239-54, June.
  8. Lau, Morten I. & Poutvaara, Panu & Wagener, Andreas, 2004. "Dynamic costs of the draft," Munich Reprints in Economics 19265, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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