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The Long-Term Effect of Military Conscription on Personality and Beliefs

Author

Listed:
  • Gabriela Ertola Navajas

    () (Universidad de San Andres)

  • Paula Lopez Villalba

    () (Universidad de San Andres)

  • Martín Rossi

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

  • Antonia Vazquez

    () (Universidad de San Andres)

Abstract

Military conscription is one of the most prevalent policies observed worldwide, typically affecting men at a very young age. However, its consequences on shaping men’s personalities and beliefs remain unknown. We estimate the causal impact of military conscription on long-term beliefs and personality traits. To address potential endogeneity concerns we exploit the conscription draft lottery in Argentina. We combine administrative data from the draft with data from a purposely-designed survey on beliefs and personality traits. We find that men that served in the conscription are more likely to adopt the military mindset, and this effect is long-lasting. In particular, men that served in the conscription are more likely to justify violence to solve conflicts, believe that military service should be mandatory, support coups against civilian governments, accept military interventions in foreign countries, and support the right to bear arms. In addition, they are less tolerant, more disciplined, more politically conservative, more authoritarian, and more belligerent.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriela Ertola Navajas & Paula Lopez Villalba & Martín Rossi & Antonia Vazquez, 2019. "The Long-Term Effect of Military Conscription on Personality and Beliefs," Working Papers 132, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Sep 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:sad:wpaper:132
    as

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    File URL: ftp://webacademicos.udesa.edu.ar/pub/econ/doc132.pdf
    File Function: First version, Jan 2019
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Military service; personality traits; behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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