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Above and beyond the call. Long-term real earnings effects of British male military conscription in the post-war years

  • Grenet, Julien
  • Hart, Robert A
  • Roberts, J Elizabeth

We add to the literature on the long-term economic effects of male military service. We concentrate on post-war British conscription into the armed services from 1949 to 1960. It was called National Service and applied to males aged 18 to 26. Based on a regression discontinuity design we estimate the effect of military service on the earnings of those required to serve through conscription. We argue that, in general, we should not expect to find large long-term real earnings among conscripts compared to later birth cohorts of males who were not eligible for call-up. Our empirical evidence firmly rejects the view that conscription entails relative long-term real earnings differences.

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Paper provided by University of Stirling, Division of Economics in its series Stirling Economics Discussion Papers with number 2010-08.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2010-08
Contact details of provider: Postal: Division of Economics, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
Phone: +44 (0)1786 467473
Fax: +44 (0)1786 467469
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  1. Paolo Buonanno, 2006. "Long-term Effects of Conscription: Lessons from the UK," Working Papers (-2012) 0604, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. David S. Lee & David Card, 2006. "Regression Discontinuity Inference with Specification Error," NBER Technical Working Papers 0322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Atsushi Inoue & Gary Solon, 2010. "Two-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 557-561, August.
  5. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2010. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1345-1364, December.
  6. Imbens, G. & Van Der Klaauw, W., 1993. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in the Netherlands," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1632, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Thomas Lemieux & David Card, 2001. "Going to College to Avoid the Draft: The Unintended Legacy of the Vietnam War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 97-102, May.
  8. Hart, Robert A, 2009. "Above and beyond the call. Long-term real earnings effects of British male military conscription during WWII and the post-war years," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2009-09, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  9. Maurin, Eric & Xenogiani, Theodora, 2005. "Demand for Education and Labour Market Outcomes: Lessons from the Abolition of Compulsory Conscription in France," CEPR Discussion Papers 4946, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Joshua Angrist, 1989. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," Working Papers 631, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2009. "Evaluating the Labor-Market Effects of Compulsory Military Service," IZA Discussion Papers 4535, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Hart, Robert A., 2009. "Did British Women Achieve Long-Term Economic Benefits from Working in Essential WWII Industries?," IZA Discussion Papers 4006, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1308-1320, September.
  14. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
  15. Stephen L. Mangum & David E. Ball, 1989. "The transferability of military-provided occupational training in the post-draft era," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(2), pages 230-245, January.
  16. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
  17. Joshua D. Angrist, 1998. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 249-288, March.
  18. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records: Errata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1284-86, December.
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