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

  • Grenet, Julien


    (London School of Economics)

  • Hart, Robert A.


    (University of Stirling)

  • Roberts, J. Elizabeth


    (University of Stirling)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5563.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2011, 18 (2), 194-204
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5563
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  1. 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.
  2. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Working Papers 13039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hart, Robert A., 2009. "Did British Women Achieve Long-Term Economic Benefits from Working in Essential WWII Industries?," IZA Discussion Papers 4006, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," NBER Working Papers 11943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stephen L. Mangum & David E. Ball, 1989. "The transferability of military-provided occupational training in the post-draft era," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(2), pages 230-245, January.
  7. Joshua Angrist, 1989. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," Working Papers 631, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Paolo Buonanno, 2006. "Long-term Effects of Conscription: Lessons from the UK," Working Papers (-2012) 0604, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
  9. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2009. "Evaluating the Labor-Market Effects of Compulsory Military Service," IZA Discussion Papers 4535, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. 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," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2009-09, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  11. Devereux, Paul J. & Hart, Robert A., 2008. "Forced to Be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 3305, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. 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.
  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 1284-86, 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. Maurin, Eric & Xenogiani, Theodora, 2005. "Demand for Education and Labour Market Outcomes: Lessons from the Abolition of Compulsory Conscription in France," CEPR Discussion Papers 4946, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Joshua D. Angrist, 1995. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," NBER Working Papers 5192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," NBER Working Papers 14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. David S. Lee & David Card, 2006. "Regression Discontinuity Inference with Specification Error," NBER Technical Working Papers 0322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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