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Military careers of politicians matter for national security policy

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  • David Stadelmann
  • Marco Portmann
  • Reiner Eichenberger

Abstract

Do politicians with a military background decide differently on military affairs? We investigate the informative institutional setting of the Swiss conscription army. Politicians who served in the military have a higher probability of accepting pro-military legislative proposals, even when controlling for party affiliations and revealed preferences of constituents that politicians are supposed to represent. While conscription requires all able-bodied man to serve at least as soldiers, we can exploit variation in exposure to enforced and voluntary service. This allows us to provide indicative evidence that motivation for the military, instead of compulsory service, plays a substantial role for explaining legislative decisions on military affairs.

Suggested Citation

  • David Stadelmann & Marco Portmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2014. "Military careers of politicians matter for national security policy," CREMA Working Paper Series 2014-18, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2014-18
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    1. repec:kap:pubcho:v:171:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0449-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Julio Alberto Ramos-Pastrana, 2017. "Who's Getting the Office? Autocracy And Elected Politicians' Career Path: Evidence from the Mexican States," Caepr Working Papers 2017-008 Classification-D, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    3. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2017. "Conservative Politicians and Voting on Same-Sex Marriage," CESifo Working Paper Series 6706, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Military; Legislative voting; Constituents preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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