The Long-Term Effects of Military Conscription on Mortality: Estimates from the Vietnam-era Draft Lottery
Research on the effects of Vietnam military service suggests that Vietnam veterans experienced significantly higher mortality than both non-Vietnam veterans and the civilian population at large. These results, however, may be biased by non-random selection into the military if unobserved background differences between veterans and non-veterans affect mortality directly. The present study generates unbiased estimates of the causal impact of Vietnam era draft eligibility on male mortality. Using records from the Vietnam draft lottery to assign decedents born 1950-1952 draft lottery numbers, the study estimates excess mortality among observed draft eligible male decedents as compared to the (1) expected proportion of draft eligible decedents given Vietnam draft eligibility cutoffs and (2) observed proportion of draft eligible female decedents. The results demonstrate that there appears to be no effect of draft exposure on mortality (even cause-specific death rates). When we examine population subgroups--including splits by race, educational attainment, nativity and marital status--we find weak evidence for an interaction between education and draft eligibility. On the whole, these results suggest that previous research, which has shown that Vietnam-era veterans experienced significantly higher mortality than non-veterans, may be biased by non-random selection into the military and may thus overstate the need for compensatory government pensions.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2009|
|Publication status:||published as Conley, D. and J. Heerwig. 2012. “The Long-Te rm Effects of Milita ry Conscription on Mortality: Estimates from the Vietnam-era Draft Lottery.” Demography . 49: 841-855.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- 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.
- Angrist, Joshua & Krueger, Alan B, 1994.
"Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 74-97, January.
- Alan B. Krueger & Joshua D. Angrist, 1989. "Why do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?," NBER Working Papers 2991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1989. "Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?," Working Papers 634, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- 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.
- Joshua D. Angrist, 1989. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," Working Papers 631, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen, 2007. "Long-term consequences of vietnam-era conscription: schooling, experience, and earnings," NBER Working Papers 13411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)