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The Effects of Compulsory Military Service Exemption on Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Author

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  • Torun, Huzeyfe

    () (Central Bank of Turkey)

  • Tumen, Semih

    () (TED University)

Abstract

Based on a law enacted in November 1999, males born on or before December 31st 1972 are given the option to benefit from a paid exemption from compulsory military service in Turkey. Exploiting this natural experiment, we devise an empirical strategy to estimate the intention-to-treat effect of this paid exemption on education and labor market outcomes of the individuals in the target group. We find that the paid exemption reform reduces the years of schooling among males who are eligible to benefit from the reform relative to the ineligible males. In particular, the probability of receiving a college degree or above falls among the eligible males. The result is robust to alternative estimation strategies. We find no reduction in education when we implement the same exercises with (i) data on females and (ii) placebo reform dates. The interpretation is that the reform has reduced the incentives to continue education for the purpose of deferring military service. We also find suggestive evidence that the paid exemption reform reduces the labor income for males in the target group. The reduction in earnings is likely due to the reduction in education. It should be noted, however, that due to the characteristics of the population on the treatment margin, the external validity of these results should be assessed cautiously.

Suggested Citation

  • Torun, Huzeyfe & Tumen, Semih, 2016. "The Effects of Compulsory Military Service Exemption on Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 10004, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10004
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    Cited by:

    1. Torun, Huzeyfe, 2019. "Ex-ante labor market effects of compulsory military service," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 90-110.
    2. Fize, Etienne & Louis-Sidois, Charles, 2020. "Military service and political behavior: Evidence from France," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    3. Huzeyfe Torun & Semih Tumen, 2017. "The empirical content of season-of-birth effects: An investigation with Turkish data," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 37(57), pages 1825-1860.
    4. Charles Louis-Sidois, 2018. "Trois essais en économie politique," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/bpfbvips89e, Sciences Po.
    5. Savčić, Ružica & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2020. "Conscription and Educational Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the Republic of Cyprus," GLO Discussion Paper Series 628, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    6. Tumen, Semih, 2018. "The Impact of Low-Skill Refugees on Youth Education," IZA Discussion Papers 11869, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio, 2019. "The Impact of Mandatory Military Service. Evidence from Spain," UC3M Working papers. Economics 27980, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    8. Ozturk, Ahmet & Tumen, Semih, 2018. "Education and Labor Market Consequences of Student Protests in Late 1970s and the Subsequent Military Coup in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 11733, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    earnings; education; draft avoidance; compulsory military service; intention to treat;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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