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Long-Term Economic Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: Schooling, Experience and Earnings

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua D. Angrist

    () (MIT Department of Economics)

  • Stacey H. Chen

    () (Department of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen, 2009. "Long-Term Economic Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: Schooling, Experience and Earnings," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 09/02, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London.
  • Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0902
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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
    2. Angrist, Joshua D. & Chen, Stacey H. & Frandsen, Brigham R., 2010. "Did Vietnam veterans get sicker in the 1990s? The complicated effects of military service on self-reported health," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 824-837, December.
    3. Sebastian Galiani & Martín A. Rossi & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2011. "Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentine Draft Lottery," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 119-136, April.
    4. Baldwin Kate & Bhavnani Rikhil R., 2015. "Ancillary Studies of Experiments: Opportunities and Challenges," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 113-146, June.
    5. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2012. "Evaluating the labor-market effects of compulsory military service," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 814-829.
    6. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2014. "Do guns displace books? The impact of compulsory military service on educational attainment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 513-515.
    7. Saraswata Chaudhuri & Elaina Rose, 2009. "Estimating the Veteran Effect with Endogenous Schooling when Instruments are Potentially Weak," Working Papers UWEC-2009-07, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    8. Christopher J. Bennett & Ričardas Zitikis, 2013. "Examining the Distributional Effects of Military Service on Earnings: A Test of Initial Dominance," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 1-15, January.
    9. Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen & Jae Song, 2011. "Long-Term Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: New Estimates Using Social Security Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 334-338, May.
    10. Paloyo, Alfredo R., 2010. "Compulsory Military Service in Germany Revisited," Ruhr Economic Papers 206, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    11. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2009. "Evaluating the Labor-Market Effects of Compulsory Military Service - A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 141, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War

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