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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.
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    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 for the Study of Labor (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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    9. 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.
    10. 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).
    11. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    12. Paolo Buonanno, 2006. "Long-term Effects of Conscription: Lessons from the UK," Working Papers (-2012) 0604, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
    13. 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 1284-1286, December.
    14. 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.
    15. Lee, David S. & Card, David, 2008. "Regression discontinuity inference with specification error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 655-674, February.
    16. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Lindquist, Matthew, 2016. "The Causal Effect of Military Conscription on Crime and the Labor Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 11110, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2012. "Can Compulsory Military Service Raise Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 57-93, October.
    3. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2011. "Can Compulsory Military Service Increase Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," NBER Working Papers 17694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:zbw:rwirep:0206 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Huzeyfe Torun & Semih Tumen, 2017. "The empirical content of season-of-birth effects: An investigation with Turkish data," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 37(57), pages 1825-1860, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2014. "Do guns displace books? The impact of compulsory military service on educational attainment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 513-515.
    8. Frank Hubers & Dinand Webbink, 2015. "The long-term effects of military conscription on educational attainment and wages," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-16, December.
    9. Bingley, Paul & Lundborg, Petter & Vincent Lyk-Jensen, Stéphanie, 2017. "Brothers in Arms: Spillovers from a Draft Lottery," IZA Discussion Papers 10483, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Asali, Muhammad, 2015. "Compulsory Military Service and Future Earnings: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 8892, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Torun, Huzeyfe & Tumen, Semih, 2016. "The effects of compulsory military service exemption on education and labor market outcomes: Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 16-35.
    12. Bingley, Paul & Lundborg, Petter & Vincent Lyk-Jensen, Stéphanie, 2014. "Opportunity Cost and the Incidence of a Draft Lottery," Working Papers 2014:10, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    13. Erik Grönqvist & Erik Lindqvist, 2016. "The Making of a Manager: Evidence from Military Officer Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(4), pages 869-898.
    14. Oliver Vanden Eynde, 2016. "Military Service and Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Colonial Punjab," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(4), pages 10031035-10.
    15. Vincent Aidan O'Sullivan, 2016. "The effect of military service on earnings in Britain," Working Papers 125437295, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    16. Alfredo R. Paloyo, 2010. "Compulsory Military Service in Germany Revisited," Ruhr Economic Papers 0206, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    17. Paloyo, Alfredo R., 2010. "Compulsory Military Service in Germany Revisited," Ruhr Economic Papers 206, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    18. repec:zbw:rwirep:0260 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Siminski, Peter & Ville, Simon & Paull, Alexander, 2013. "Does the Military Train Men to Be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries," IZA Discussion Papers 7152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:6:p:1176-1194 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Thomas K. Bauer & Stefan Bender & Alfredo R. Paloyo & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2011. "Do Guns Displace Books? – The Impact of Compulsory Military Service on Educational Attainment," Ruhr Economic Papers 0260, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    National Service; WWII conscription; long-term real earnings; regression discontinuity design;

    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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