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Conscription as Regulation

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  • Casey Mulligan
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

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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  • Casey Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, "undated". "Conscription as Regulation," Working Paper 19486, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  • Handle: RePEc:qsh:wpaper:19486
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    File URL: http://scholar.harvard.edu/shleifer/node/19486
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ross, Thomas W, 1994. "Raising an Army: A Positive Theory of Military Recruitment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 109-131, April.
    2. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
    3. 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 239-254, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Gerontocracy, retirement, and social security," Economics Working Papers 383, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    6. repec:reg:rpubli:274 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382.
    8. Casey B. Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Population and Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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..
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption

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