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Deterrence Capacity, Relative Performance, Adjustment Costs, Hazard, Killing Aversion and the Optimal Enlistment Age

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Abstract

Early-age enlistment increases a small country's potential army size and thereby its attack-deterrence capacity. However, physical and psychological injuries and, ultimately, death generate a loss of quality-adjusted life-years that reduces the net benefit from early-age enlistment. The net benefit from early or later age recruitment is also affected by the rise and decline of the individual's military performance and civilian productivity and by changes in his adjustment costs over the lifespan. The simulations of an optimization model incorporating these elements suggest that if the intensity of the rise and decline of the individual's military performance is sufficiently larger than the intensity of the rise and decline of his civilian productivity, there exists an interior optimal enlistment age greater than the commonly practiced eighteen. In such a case, most of the simulation results are closely scattered around twenty-one despite large parameter changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Levy, Amnon, 2005. "Deterrence Capacity, Relative Performance, Adjustment Costs, Hazard, Killing Aversion and the Optimal Enlistment Age," Economics Working Papers wp05-01, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp05-01
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    File URL: http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@commerce/@econ/documents/doc/uow012184.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Levy, Amnon, 2005. "A decision-rule for transplanting non-cadaveric organs," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 164(2), pages 548-554, July.
    2. Bleichrodt, Han & Quiggin, John, 1999. "Life-cycle preferences over consumption and health: when is cost-effectiveness analysis equivalent to cost-benefit analysis?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 681-708, December.
    3. 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.
    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. I. J. Irvine, 1981. "The Use of Cross-Section Microdata in Life Cycle Models: An Application to Inequality Theory in Nonstationary Economies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(2), pages 301-316.
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    Keywords

    Economics; enlistment-age; risk; cost and benefit; decision rule;

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