Rich Man’s War, Poor Man’s Fight? Socioeconomic Representativeness in the Modern Military
Historically, the American armed forces were disproportionally drawn from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. A transition toward a smaller and more selective military has changed this tendency. Since the armed forces do not gather data on recruits’ family income, previous studies relied on geographic data to proxy for economic background. We improve on previous literature using individual-level data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 and study population representativeness in the years 1997–2011. We find that recruits score higher than the civilian population on cognitive skill tests, and come from households with above average median parental income and wealth. Moreover, both the lowest and highest parental income categories are under-represented. Higher skill test scores increase enlistment rates from lower- and middle-income families while decreasing them for high income families. The over-representation of minorities in the military has declined in recent decades. Non-Hispanic White casualties are now over-represented in Iraq and Afghanistan.
|Date of creation:||27 May 2013|
|Date of revision:||16 Dec 2014|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
Web page: http://www.ifn.se/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- repec:mpr:mprres:7642 is not listed on IDEAS
- David R. Mann, 2012. "Why We Fight: Understanding Military Participation over the Life Cycle," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 279 - 315.
- Joshua D. Angrist, 1998.
"Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants,"
Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 249-288, March.
- Joshua D. Angrist, 1995. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," NBER Working Papers 5192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rohlfs Chris, 2012. "The Economic Cost of Conscription and an Upper Bound on the Value of a Statistical Life: Hedonic Estimates from Two Margins of Response to the Vietnam Draft," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 3(3), pages 1-37, August.
- John Bound & Sarah E. Turner, 1999.
"Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?,"
NBER Working Papers
7452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0965. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Elisabeth Gustafsson)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.