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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. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Gerontocracy, Retirement, and Social Security," NBER Working Papers 7117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio López-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Labor," Working Paper 19483, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  3. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio LopezdeSilanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," NBER Working Papers 7892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004. "Do democracies have different public policies than non-democracies?," Discussion Papers 0304-14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. repec:reg:rpubli:274 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Persuasion in Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 435-439, May.
  7. 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.
  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.
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