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Above and Beyond the Call: Long-Term Real Earnings Effects of British Male Military Conscription in the Post-War Years

Author

Listed:
  • Grenet, Julien

    () (Paris School of Economics)

  • Hart, Robert A.

    () (University of Stirling)

  • Roberts, J. Elizabeth

    () (University of Stirling)

Abstract

We add to the literature on the long-term economic effects of male military service. We concentrate on post-war British conscription into the armed services from 1949 to 1960. It was called National Service and applied to males aged 18 to 26. Based on a regression discontinuity design we estimate the effect of military service on the earnings of those required to serve through conscription. We argue that, in general, we should not expect to find large long-term real earnings among conscripts compared to later birth cohorts of males who were not eligible for call-up. Our empirical evidence firmly rejects the view that conscription entails relative long-term real earnings differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Grenet, Julien & Hart, Robert A. & Roberts, J. Elizabeth, 2011. "Above and Beyond the Call: Long-Term Real Earnings Effects of British Male Military Conscription in the Post-War Years," IZA Discussion Papers 5563, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5563
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Imbens, Guido & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in The Netherlands," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 207-215, April.
    2. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    3. Hart, Robert A., 2009. "Above and Beyond the Call: Long-Term Real Earnings Effects of British Male Military Conscription during WWII and the Post-War Years," IZA Discussion Papers 4118, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. 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.
    5. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1308-1320, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2010. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1345-1364, December.
    8. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 313-336, June.
    9. 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.
    10. Hart, Robert A., 2009. "Did British Women Achieve Long-Term Economic Benefits from Working in Essential WWII Industries?," IZA Discussion Papers 4006, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    12. Paolo Buonanno, 2006. "Long-term Effects of Conscription: Lessons from the UK," Working Papers (-2012) 0604, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
    13. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records: Errata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1284-1286, December.
    14. Atsushi Inoue & Gary Solon, 2010. "Two-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 557-561, August.
    15. Lee, David S. & Card, David, 2008. "Regression discontinuity inference with specification error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 655-674, February.
    16. Joshua D. Angrist, 1998. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 249-288, March.
    17. Eric Maurin & Theodora Xenogiani, 2007. "Demand for Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Lessons from the Abolition of Compulsory Conscription in France," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    regression discontinuity design; National Service; WWII conscription; long-term real earnings;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-

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