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The War at Home: Effects of Vietnam-Era Military Service on Post-War Household Stability

Author

Listed:
  • Dalton Conley
  • Jennifer Heerwig

Abstract

Prior researchers have deployed the Vietnam-era draft lottery as an instrument to estimate causal effects of military service on health and income. This research has shown that effects of veteran status on mortality and earnings that appeared shortly after the war seem to have dissipated by 2000. While these are important outcomes to economists, by focusing on them, researchers may be neglecting an area of life that could be more sensitive to the psychological effects of military service: household and family life. In the present study we use the same IV approach to model the causal impact of Vietnam- era military service on four novel outcomes: residential stability, marital stability, housing tenure and extended family living arrangements. In analysis of the 2000 U.S. Census and the 2005 American Community Survey, we find that veteran status has no effect on housing tenure or residential stability. However, in the ACS sample, being a veteran appears to lower the likelihood of marital disruption, and results for extended family living arrangements appear to change signs across the two samples. Meanwhile, results tend to be strongest for whites.

Suggested Citation

  • Dalton Conley & Jennifer Heerwig, 2011. "The War at Home: Effects of Vietnam-Era Military Service on Post-War Household Stability," NBER Working Papers 16671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16671
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    Cited by:

    1. Deuchert, Eva & Huber, Martin, 2014. "A cautionary tale about control variables in IV estimation," FSES Working Papers 453, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    2. Brighita Negrusa & Sebastian Negrusa, 2014. "Home Front: Post-Deployment Mental Health and Divorces," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(3), pages 895-916, June.
    3. Matthew Larsen & T. McCarthy & Jeremy Moulton & Marianne Page & Ankur Patel, 2015. "War and Marriage: Assortative Mating and the World War II GI Bill," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1431-1461, October.
    4. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:3:p:411-425 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Majbouri, Mahdi, 2017. "Sir! I'd Rather Go to School, Sir!," IZA Discussion Papers 10787, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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