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Does Peacetime Military Service Affect Crime?

Author

Listed:
  • Albæk, Karsten

    () (Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI))

  • Leth-Petersen, Søren

    () (University of Copenhagen)

  • le Maire, Daniel

    () (University of Copenhagen)

  • Tranæs, Torben

    () (Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI))

Abstract

Draft lottery data combined with Danish longitudinal administrative records show that military service can reduce criminal activity for youth offenders who enter service at ages 19-22. For this group property crime is reduced for up to five years from the beginning of service, and the effect is therefore not only a result of incapacitation while enrolled. We find no effect of service on violent crimes. We also find no effect of military service on educational attainment and unemployment, but we find negative effects of service on earnings. These results suggest that military service does not upgrade productive human capital directly, but rather impacts criminal activity through other channels, for example by changing the attitudes to criminal activity for this group.

Suggested Citation

  • Albæk, Karsten & Leth-Petersen, Søren & le Maire, Daniel & Tranæs, Torben, 2013. "Does Peacetime Military Service Affect Crime?," IZA Discussion Papers 7528, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7528
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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 313-336, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Siminski & Simon Ville & Alexander Paull, 2016. "Does the military turn men into criminals? New evidence from Australia’s conscription lotteries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 197-218.
    2. D. Mark Anderson & Daniel I. Rees, 2015. "Deployments, Combat Exposure, and Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(1), pages 235-267.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; military service; activation;

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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