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Long-Term Health Effects of Vietnam-Era Military Service: A Quasi-Experiment Using Australian Conscription Lotteries

Author

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  • Johnston, David W.

    () (Monash University)

  • Shields, Michael A.

    () (Monash University)

  • Siminski, Peter

    () (University of Technology, Sydney)

Abstract

This paper estimates the long-term health effects of Vietnam-Era military service using Australia's National conscription lotteries for identification. Our primary contribution is the quality and breadth of our health outcomes. We use several administrative sources, containing a near-universe of records on mortality (1994-2011), cancer diagnoses (1982-2008), and emergency hospital presentations (2005-2010). We also analyse a range of self-reported morbidity indicators (2006-2009). We find no significant long-term effects on mortality, cancer or emergency hospital visits. In contrast, we find significant detrimental effects on a number of morbidity measures. Hearing and mental health appear to be particularly affected.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Siminski, Peter, 2015. "Long-Term Health Effects of Vietnam-Era Military Service: A Quasi-Experiment Using Australian Conscription Lotteries," IZA Discussion Papers 8852, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8852
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carlos Dobkin & Reza Shabani, 2009. "The Health Effects Of Military Service: Evidence From The Vietnam Draft," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(1), pages 69-80, January.
    2. Peter Siminski & Simon Ville, 2011. "Long-Run Mortality Effects of Vietnam-Era Army Service: Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 345-349, May.
    3. Angrist, Joshua D. & Chen, Stacey H. & Frandsen, Brigham R., 2010. "Did Vietnam veterans get sicker in the 1990s? The complicated effects of military service on self-reported health," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 824-837, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kadir Atalay & Garry F. Barrett & Peter Siminski, 2019. "Pension incentives and the joint retirement of couples: evidence from two natural experiments," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 735-767, July.
    2. Balestra, Simone, 2018. "Gun prevalence and suicide," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 163-177.
    3. Frijters, Paul & Krekel, Christian & Ulker, Aydogan, 2020. "Machiavelli versus Concave Utility Functions: Should Bads Be Spread out or Concentrated?," IZA Discussion Papers 13021, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Tan, Hui Ren, 2020. "Did military service during World War I affect the economic status of American veterans?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    military service; health; conscription; Australia; Vietnam War;

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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