Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in the Netherlands
The authors investigate the effect of serving in the military in the Netherlands on future earnings. Estimating the cost or benefit of military service is complicated by the complex selection mechanisms that determine who eventually serves in the military. In this paper, the authors use substantial, policy-induced variation in aggregate military enrollment rates to deal with these selections issues. The estimates show that, approximately ten years after serving in the military, former conscripts have earnings that are on average 5 percent lower than the earnings of members of their birth cohort who did not serve in the military.
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