IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Evaluating the Labor Market Performance of Veterans Using a Matched Comparison Group Design

  • Hirsch, Barry


    (Georgia State University)

  • Mehay, Stephen L.


    (U.S. Naval Postgraduate School)

A key concern in estimating the effect of military service on civilian earnings is bias from unmeasured differences between military veterans and nonveterans. The effects of activeduty service are estimated using the 1986 and 1992 Reserve Components Surveys, which permit a matched comparison between reservists who are veterans and reservists without active-duty service. Because military entrance requirements are identical for the reserves and active duty, estimated treatment effects embody control for selection by the military and selection by workers for a form of military service. Results are presented for officers and enlisted personnel and by race and era of service. The average impact of active-duty service on civilian earnings is 3 percent among the reservist population, but this average reflects treatment effects of essentially zero for enlisted personnel and 10 percent for officers. Among white enlisted personnel, veteran effects are negative but small. Treatment effects for African-American veterans average about 5 percent. Vietnam-era white draftees are found to have suffered an approximate 5 percent wage penalty and volunteers little penalty, but estimates from the reservist sample are likely to understate negative effects from Vietnamera service.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 740.

in new window

Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2003, 38 (3), 673-700
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp740
Contact details of provider: Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  3. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1989. "Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?," Working Papers 634, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. 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 313-36, June.
  5. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  6. Saul Schwartz, 1986. "The relative earnings of Vietnam and Korean-era veterans," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(4), pages 564-572, July.
  7. 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.
  8. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. James Heckman, 1997. "Instrumental Variables: A Study of Implicit Behavioral Assumptions Used in Making Program Evaluations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 441-462.
  10. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-61, April.
  11. Card, David, 1996. "The Effect of Unions on the Structure of Wages: A Longitudinal Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 957-79, July.
  12. Bound, John, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 482-503, June.
  13. Mehay, S.L. & Hirsch, B.T., 1993. "The Post-Military Earnings of Female Veterans," Working Papers 1993_09_02, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  14. Mark C. Berger & Barry T. Hirsch, 1983. "The Civilian Earnings Experience of Vietnam - Era Veterans," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(4), pages 455-479.
  15. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  16. Bryant, Richard R. & Samaranayake, V. A. & Wilhite, Allen, 1993. "The effect of military service on the subsequent civilian wage of the post-Vietnam veteran," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 15-31.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp740. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.