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Do Guns Displace Books? The Impact of Compulsory Military Service on Educational Attainment

  • Bauer, Thomas K.

    ()

    (RWI)

  • Bender, Stefan

    ()

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

  • Paloyo, Alfredo R.

    ()

    (University of Wollongong)

  • Schmidt, Christoph M.

    ()

    (RWI)

Compulsory military service typically drafts young men when they are at the height of their learning ability. Thus, it can be expected to depress the demand for higher education since skill atrophy and the delayed entry into the civilian labor market reduce the returns to human-capital investments. Attending university, however, might open the possibility to avoid the draft, leading to an increase in the demand for tertiary education. To estimate the causal effect of conscription on the probability to obtain a university degree, we use a regression-discontinuity design that employs special regulations associated with the introduction of conscription in Germany in 1956. We estimate conscription to increase the probability of having a university degree.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5744.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics Letters 2014, 124, 513-515
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5744
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  7. Lori G. Kletzer & Robert W. Fairlie, 2003. "The long-term costs of job displacement for young adult workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 682-698, July.
  8. Imbens, G. & Van Der Klaauw, W., 1993. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in the Netherlands," Working Papers 93-24, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  9. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
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  12. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
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  14. Thomas K. Bauer & Stefan Bender & Alfredo R. Paloyo & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2009. "Evaluating the Labor-Market Effects of Compulsory Military Service - A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 0141, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
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  16. Grenet, Julien & Hart, Robert A & Roberts, J Elizabeth, 2010. "Above and beyond the call. Long-term real earnings effects of British male military conscription in the post-war years," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2010-08, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
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  19. 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.
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  23. repec:iza:izadps:dp509 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. 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.
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