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Does the Military Train Men to Be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries

Author

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  • Siminski, Peter

    () (University of Technology, Sydney)

  • Ville, Simon

    () (University of Wollongong)

  • Paull, Alexander

    (University of Wollongong)

Abstract

Combat is the most intense form of military service, but several aspects of the training experience, which explicitly prepares people for violent warfare, are hypothesized to link service to violent crime. Using Australia's Vietnam-era conscription lotteries for identification and criminal court data from Australia's three largest states, we seek to estimate the effect of army training on violent crime. Using various specifications, we find no evidence that military training causes violent crime, and our point estimates are always negative. In our preferred specification (using only non-deployed cohorts), we rule out with 95% confidence any positive violent crime effects larger than 3.6% relative to the mean.

Suggested Citation

  • Siminski, Peter & Ville, Simon & Paull, Alexander, 2013. "Does the Military Train Men to Be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries," IZA Discussion Papers 7152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7152
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Lindquist, Matthew, 2016. "The Causal Effect of Military Conscription on Crime and the Labor Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 11110, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Alfredo Paloyo & Colin Vance & Matthias Vorell, 2014. "Local determinants of crime," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(21), pages 625-658, September.
    3. Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Siminski, Peter, 2016. "Long-term health effects of Vietnam-era military service: A quasi-experiment using Australian conscription lotteries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 12-26.
    4. Patulny, Roger & Siminski, Peter & Mendolia, Silvia, 2015. "The front line of social capital creation – A natural experiment in symbolic interaction," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 8-18.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    violent crime; military service; natural experiment; Australia;

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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