Long-Term Economic Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: Schooling, Experience and Earnings
Military service reduces the civilian work experience of veterans but subsidizes their college attendance through the GI Bill. Estimates of veteran effects using the Vietnam-era draft-lottery show a post-service earnings impact close to zero in 2000, coupled with a marked increase in college attendance. Viewed through the lens of a Minser wage equation, these results are explained by a flattening of the experimence profile in middle age and a modest return to GI Bill schooling. Consistent with Roy-type selection into college for veterans, IV estimates of the returns to GI Bill-funded schooling are well below OLS estimates. These results are unchanged in more general models that allow for nonlinear returns to schooling and possible effects of military service on health.
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