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

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Grenet, Julien & Hart, Robert A & Roberts, J Elizabeth, 2010. "Above and beyond the call. Long-term real earnings effects of British male military conscription in the post-war years," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2010-08, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2010-08
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/2433
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Imbens, Guido & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in The Netherlands," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 207-215, April.
    2. 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.
    3. 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," IZA Discussion Papers 4118, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2012. "Evaluating the labor-market effects of compulsory military service," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 814-829.
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    12. Paolo Buonanno, 2006. "Long-term Effects of Conscription: Lessons from the UK," Working Papers (-2012) 0604, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
    13. Eric Maurin & Theodora Xenogiani, 2007. "Demand for Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Lessons from the Abolition of Compulsory Conscription in France," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    National Service; WWII conscription; long-term real earnings; regression discontinuity design;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-

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