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Conscription as Regulation

  • Casey Mulligan
  • Andrei Shleifer

We examine the practice of military conscription around the world from the perspective of two standard theories, and a new one, which emphasizes the fixed cost of introducing and administering the draft as a deterrent to its use. We find that, holding the relative size of the military constant, higher population countries are more likely to use the draft. We also find that French legal origin countries, which we see as facing lower fixed and variable administrative costs, are more likely to draft than are common law countries. Conscription does not seem to be influenced by democracy, and is influenced by the deadweight costs of taxation only in countries with very large militaries. The results suggest that fixed costs of introducing and administering new regulations may be an important determinant of their use.

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File URL: http://scholar.harvard.edu/shleifer/node/19486
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Paper provided by Harvard University OpenScholar in its series Working Paper with number 19486.

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Handle: RePEc:qsh:wpaper:19486
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  1. Botero, J. C. & Djankov, S. & Porta, R. L. & Lopez-de-Silanes, F. & Shleifer, Andrei, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," Scholarly Articles 27867241, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andre Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1904, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004. "Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 51-74, Winter.
  4. Casey B Mulligan, 1999. "Gerontocracy, Retirement, and Social Security," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 154, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  5. Tom Ross, 1988. "Raising An Army: A Positive Theory Of Military Recruitment," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 88-08, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  6. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei, 2004. "Persuasion in Politics," Scholarly Articles 27867244, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. John T. Warner & Beth J. Asch, 2001. "The Record and Prospects of the All-Volunteer Military in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 169-192, Spring.
  8. Martin, Donald L, 1972. "The Economics of Jury Conscription," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 680-702, July-Aug..
  9. Casey B. Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Population and Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Fisher, Anthony C, 1969. "The Cost of the Draft and the Cost of Ending the Draft," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 239-54, June.
  11. repec:reg:rpubli:274 is not listed on IDEAS
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