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Does the Military Train Men to be Violent Criminals? New Evidence from Australia’s Conscription Lotteries

Combat is the most intense form of military service, but several aspects of the training experience, which explicitly prepares people for violent warfare, are hypothesized to link service to violent crime. Using Australia’s Vietnam-era conscription lotteries for identification and criminal court data from Australia’s three largest states, we seek to estimate the effect of army training on violent crime. Using various specifications, we find no evidence that military training causes violent crime, and our point estimates are always negative. In our preferred specification (using only non-deployed cohorts), we rule out with 95% confidence any positive violent crime effects larger than 3.6% relative to the mean.

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File URL: http://business.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@commerce/@econ/documents/web/uow141007.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia in its series Economics Working Papers with number wp13-01.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp13-01
Contact details of provider: Postal:
School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia

Phone: +612 4221-3659
Fax: +612 4221-3725
Web page: http://business.uow.edu.au/econ/index.html

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  1. Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Vance, Colin & Vorell, Matthias, 2010. "Local Determinants of Crime: Do Military Bases Matter?," Ruhr Economic Papers 211, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Knudsen, Eric I. & Heckman, James J. & Cameron, Judy L. & Shonkoff, Jack P., 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America's Future Workforce," IZA Discussion Papers 2190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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).
  4. Sebastian Galiani & Martín A. Rossi & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentine Draft Lottery," Working Papers 2010.55, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen, 2011. "Schooling and the Vietnam-Era GI Bill: Evidence from the Draft Lottery," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 96-118, April.
  6. 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.
  7. Jason M. Lindo & Charles F. Stoecker, 2012. "Drawn into Violence: Evidence on 'What Makes a Criminal' from the Vietnam Draft Lotteries," NBER Working Papers 17818, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. John Bound & Sarah E. Turner, 1999. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," NBER Working Papers 7452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Janet Currie & Erdal Tekin, 2012. "Understanding the Cycle: Childhood Maltreatment and Future Crime," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 509-549.
  11. Simon Ville & Peter Siminski, 2011. "A Fair And Equitable Method Of Recruitment? Conscription By Ballot Into The Australian Army During The Vietnam War," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 51(3), pages 277-296, November.
  12. Peter Siminski & Simon Ville, 2011. "Long-Run Mortality Effects of Vietnam-Era Army Service: Evidence from Australia's Conscription Lotteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 345-49, May.
  13. Card, David & Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2011. "Can Compulsory Military Service Raise Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," IZA Discussion Papers 5915, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen & Jae Song, 2011. "Long-Term Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: New Estimates Using Social Security Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 334-38, May.
  15. Grenet, Julien & Hart, Robert A. & Roberts, J. Elizabeth, 2011. "Above and Beyond the Call: Long-Term Real Earnings Effects of British Male Military Conscription in the Post-War Years," IZA Discussion Papers 5563, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. 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 207-15, April.
  17. Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Structural vs. atheoretic approaches to econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 3-20, May.
  18. Carlos Dobkin & Reza Shabani, 2009. "The Health Effects Of Military Service: Evidence From The Vietnam Draft," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(1), pages 69-80, 01.
  19. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 313-36, June.
  20. Chris Rohlfs, 2010. "Does Combat Exposure Make You a More Violent or Criminal Person? Evidence from the Vietnam Draft," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
  21. Paloyo, Alfredo R., 2010. "Compulsory Military Service in Germany Revisited," Ruhr Economic Papers 206, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  22. Joshua Angrist, 1988. "Grouped Data Estimation and Testing in Simple Labor Supply Models," Working Papers 614, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  23. 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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