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Weighing the Military Option: The Effects of Wartime Conditions on Investments in Human Capital

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Listed:
  • Duncan, Brian

    () (University of Colorado Denver)

  • Mansour, Hani

    () (University of Colorado Denver)

  • Rintala, Bryson

    ()

Abstract

Military service is an important vehicle through which young Americans invest in their human capital. Using internal military data, we show that county-level exposure to U.S. combat casualties during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars decreased the supply of new soldiers in that county, and changed the observable characteristics of soldiers who enlisted in that county. Using data from the American Community Survey, we find that exposure to casualties at a young age (17-18) increases the probability of dropping out from high school, and decreases the probability of attaining a college degree. The results suggest that increasing access to higher education and skill training positively impacts the human capital investments of marginal students.

Suggested Citation

  • Duncan, Brian & Mansour, Hani & Rintala, Bryson, 2016. "Weighing the Military Option: The Effects of Wartime Conditions on Investments in Human Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 10211, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10211
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    military service; training; college aid; human capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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