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Does Military Draft Discourage Enrollment in Higher Education? Evidence from OECD Countries

  • Keller, Katarina


    (Susquehanna University)

  • Poutvaara, Panu


    (University of Munich)

  • Wagener, Andreas


    (Leibniz University of Hannover)

Using data from 1960-2000 for OECD countries, we analyze the impact of compulsory military service on the demand for higher education, measured by students enrolled in tertiary education as a share of the working-age population. Based on a theoretical model, we hypothesize that military draft has a negative effect on education. Empirically, we confirm this for the existence of conscription, albeit usually at low statistical significance. However, the intensity of its enforcement, measured by the share of the labor force conscripted by the military and the duration of service, significantly reduces enrollment in higher education.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4399.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: FinanzArchiv, 2010, 66 (2), 97-120
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4399
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  1. Di Pietro, Giorgio, 2009. "Military Conscription and University Enrolment: Evidence from Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 4212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Fisher, Anthony C, 1969. "The Cost of the Draft and the Cost of Ending the Draft," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 239-54, June.
  3. Angrist, Joshua & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 74-97, January.
  4. Sandler,Todd & Hartley,Keith, 1995. "The Economics of Defense," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521447287.
  5. Warner, John T., 1995. "The economics of military manpower," Handbook of Defense Economics, in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 347-398 Elsevier.
  6. Imbens, G. & Van Der Klaauw, W., 1993. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in the Netherlands," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1632, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Eric Maurin & Theodora Xenogiani, 2007. "Demand for Education and Lbour Market Outcomes: Lessons from the Abolition of Compulsory Conscription in France," Post-Print halshs-00754194, HAL.
  8. repec:iza:izadps:dp509 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Piero Cipollone & Alfonso Rosolia, 2007. "Social Interactions in High School: Lessons from an Earthquake," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 948-965, June.
  10. Thomas Lemieux & David Card, 2001. "Going to College to Avoid the Draft: The Unintended Legacy of the Vietnam War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 97-102, May.
  11. Lau, Morten I. & Poutvaara, Panu & Wagener, Andreas, 2004. "Dynamic costs of the draft," Munich Reprints in Economics 19265, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. John T. Warner & Beth J. Asch, 2001. "The Record and Prospects of the All-Volunteer Military in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 169-192, Spring.
  14. Asch, Beth J. & Hosek, James R. & Warner, John T., 2007. "New Economics of Manpower in the Post-Cold War Era," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
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