Who bears the cost of Russia's military draft?
The authors use data from a large nationally representative survey in Russia to analyze the distributional and welfare implications of draft avoidance as a common response to Russia's highly unpopular conscription system. They develop a simple theoretical model that describes household compliance decisions with respect to enlistment. The authors use several econometric techniques to estimate the effect of various household characteristics on the probability of serving in the army and the implications for household income. Their results indicate that the burden of conscription falls disproportionately on the poor. Poor, rural households, with a low level of education, are more likely to have sons who are enlisted than urban, wealthy, and better-educated families. The losses incurred by the poor are disproportionately large and exceed the statutory rates of personal income taxes.
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