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The Effect of Veterans Benefits on Veterans' Education and Earnings

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  • Joshua D. Angrist

Abstract

The majority of armed forces veterans make use of the subsidized training and educational benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The effect of veterans benefits on educational attainment am civilian earnings is estimated here using the Census Bureau's 1987 Survey of Veterans. Two identification strategies are employed to control for unobserved characteristics that are correlated with educational attainment and benefit usage. First, a fixed effects strategy is implemented by exploiting information on educational attainment at the time of entry to service. Second, instrumental variables estimates are computed, where the excluded instruments are interactions between period of service am educational attainment at entry to service. The effect of veterans benefits on earnings is estimated by decomposing the return to education into a return to the grade completed at entry to service and a return to the post-entry grade increment. Veterans benefits are estimated to increase schooling by roughly 1.4 years and the grade increment is worth roughly 4.3 percent, so that veterans benefits raise annual earnings by approximately 6 percent. This premium appears to accrue primarily to the 77 percent of benefit users who attended college or graduate school.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua D. Angrist, 1990. "The Effect of Veterans Benefits on Veterans' Education and Earnings," NBER Working Papers 3492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3492
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3492.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    4. repec:fth:prinin:254 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
    6. repec:fth:prinin:265 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Stephen L. Mangum & David E. Ball, 1989. "The Transferability of Military-Provided Occupational Training in the Post-Draft Era," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(2), pages 230-245, January.
    8. 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..
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacob L. Vigdor, 2004. "Liquidity Constraints and Housing Prices: Theory and Evidence from the VA Mortgage," NBER Working Papers 10611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John Bound & Sarah Turner, 2002. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 784-815, October.
    3. Gruber, J., 1992. "The Efficiency of a Group-Specific Mandated Benefit: Evidence from Health Insurance Benefits for Maternity," Working papers 92-19, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.

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