IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/764.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effects of Vietnam-Era Military Service on the Long-Term Health of Veterans: A Bounds Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Wang, Xintong
  • Flores, Carlos A.
  • Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso

Abstract

We analyze the short- and long-term effects of the U.S. Vietnam-era military service on veterans' health outcomes using a restricted version of the National Health Interview Survey 1974-2013 and employing the draft lotteries as an instrumental variable (IV). We start by assessing whether the draft lotteries, which have been used as an IV in prior literature, satisfy the exclusion restriction by placing bounds on its net or direct effect on the health outcomes of individuals who are nonveterans regardless of their draft eligibility (the "never takers"). Since we do not find evidence against the validity of the IV, we assume its validity in conducting inference on the health effects of military service for individuals who comply with the draft-lotteries assignment (the "compliers"), as well as for those who volunteer for enlistment (the "always takers"). The causal analysis for volunteers, who represent over 75% of veterans, is novel in this literature that typically focuses on the compliers. Since the effect for volunteers is not point-identified, we employ bounds that rely on a mild mean weak monotonicity assumption. We examine a large array of health outcomes and behaviors, including mortality, up to 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War. We do not find consistent evidence of detrimental health effects on compliers, in line with prior literature. For volunteers, however, we document that their estimated bounds show statistically significant detrimental health effects that appear 20 years after the end of the conflict. As a group, veterans experience similar statistically significant detrimental health effects from military service. These findings have implications for policies regarding compensation and health care of veterans after service.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Xintong & Flores, Carlos A. & Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso, 2021. "The Effects of Vietnam-Era Military Service on the Long-Term Health of Veterans: A Bounds Analysis," GLO Discussion Paper Series 764, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:764
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/228710/1/GLO-DP-0764.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Manski, Charles F, 1990. "Nonparametric Bounds on Treatment Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 319-323, May.
    2. 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, January.
    3. 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 345-349, May.
    4. Angrist, Joshua D. & Chen, Stacey H. & Frandsen, Brigham R., 2010. "Did Vietnam veterans get sicker in the 1990s? The complicated effects of military service on self-reported health," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 824-837, December.
    5. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan & David S. Lyle, 2011. "Battle Scars? The Puzzling Decline in Employment and Rise in Disability Receipt among Vietnam Era Veterans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 339-344, May.
    6. Kelly Bedard & Olivier Deschênes, 2006. "The Long-Term Impact of Military Service on Health: Evidence from World War II and Korean War Veterans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 176-194, March.
    7. Dalton Conley & Jennifer Heerwig, 2012. "The Long-Term Effects of Military Conscription on Mortality: Estimates From the Vietnam-Era Draft Lottery," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(3), pages 841-855, August.
    8. Davies, Paul S. & Purcell, Patrick J. & Engelhardt, Gary V., 2015. "Vietnam-era military service and DI participation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 5-8.
    9. 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 313-336, June.
    10. Toru Kitagawa, 2015. "A Test for Instrument Validity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83(5), pages 2043-2063, September.
    11. Ismael Mourifié & Yuanyuan Wan, 2017. "Testing Local Average Treatment Effect Assumptions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(2), pages 305-313, May.
    12. Martha J. Bailey & Eric Chyn, 2020. "The Demographic Effects of Dodging the Vietnam Draft," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 110, pages 220-225, May.
    13. 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.
    14. Carlos A. Flores & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, 2010. "Nonparametric Partial Identification of Causal Net and Mechanism Average Treatment Effects," Working Papers 2010-25, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    15. Joshua D. Angrist, 2004. "Treatment effect heterogeneity in theory and practice," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages 52-83, March.
    16. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-475, March.
    17. Philip Oreopoulos & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Priceless: The Nonpecuniary Benefits of Schooling," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 159-184, Winter.
    18. Guido W. Imbens & Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Confidence Intervals for Partially Identified Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1845-1857, November.
    19. Peter Siminski & Simon Ville, 2012. "I Was Only Nineteen, 45 Years Ago: What Can we Learn from Australia’s Conscription Lotteries?," Economics Working Papers wp12-06, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    20. David S. Lee, 2009. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1071-1102.
    21. Zajacova, Anna, 2006. "Education, gender, and mortality: Does schooling have the same effect on mortality for men and women in the US?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(8), pages 2176-2190, October.
    22. Carlos A. Flores & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, 2013. "Partial Identification of Local Average Treatment Effects With an Invalid Instrument," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(4), pages 534-545, October.
    23. Eisenberg Daniel & Rowe Brian, 2009. "The Effect of Smoking in Young Adulthood on Smoking Later in Life: Evidence based on the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-34, June.
    24. Xuan Chen & Carlos A. Flores, 2015. "Bounds on Treatment Effects in the Presence of Sample Selection and Noncompliance: The Wage Effects of Job Corps," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 523-540, October.
    25. 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.
    26. Xuan Chen & Carlos A. Flores & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, 2018. "Going beyond LATE: Bounding Average Treatment Effects of Job Corps Training," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(4), pages 1050-1099.
    27. Jorg Stoye, 2009. "More on Confidence Intervals for Partially Identified Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1299-1315, July.
    28. Susan Payne Carter & Alexander A. Smith & Carl Wojtaszek, 2017. "Who Will Fight? The All-Volunteer Army after 9/11," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 415-419, May.
    29. Perry Singleton, 2009. "The Effect of Disability Insurance on Health Investment: Evidence from the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Disability Compensation Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
    30. Peter Siminski & Simon Ville, 2012. "I Was Only Nineteen, 45 Years Ago: What Can we Learn from Australia’s Conscription Lotteries? -super-,1," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(282), pages 351-371, September.
    31. Congressional Budget Office, 2014. "Veterans' Disability Compensation: Trends and Policy Options," Reports 45615, Congressional Budget Office.
    32. 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.
    33. Guido W. Imbens & Donald B. Rubin, 1997. "Estimating Outcome Distributions for Compliers in Instrumental Variables Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 555-574.
    34. Congressional Budget Office, 2014. "Veterans' Disability Compensation: Trends and Policy Options," Reports 45615, Congressional Budget Office.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Siminski, Peter, 2016. "Long-term health effects of Vietnam-era military service: A quasi-experiment using Australian conscription lotteries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 12-26.
    2. Wang, Xintong & Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso, 2020. "Conscription and Military Service: Do They Result in Future Violent and Non-Violent Incarcerations and Recidivism?," IZA Discussion Papers 14003, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Majbouri, Mahdi, 2017. "Sir! I'd Rather Go to School, Sir!," IZA Discussion Papers 10787, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Huber Martin & Wüthrich Kaspar, 2019. "Local Average and Quantile Treatment Effects Under Endogeneity: A Review," Journal of Econometric Methods, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-27, January.
    5. Eva Deuchert & Martin Huber, 2017. "A Cautionary Tale About Control Variables in IV Estimation," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(3), pages 411-425, June.
    6. Kadir Atalay & Garry F. Barrett & Peter Siminski, 2019. "Pension incentives and the joint retirement of couples: evidence from two natural experiments," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 735-767, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Peter Siminski & Simon Ville & Alexander Paull, 2016. "Does the military turn men into criminals? New evidence from Australia’s conscription lotteries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 197-218, January.
    9. Paul Bingley & Petter Lundborg & Stéphanie Vincent Lyk-Jensen, 2021. "Brothers in Arms: Spillovers from a Draft Lottery," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(1), pages 225-268.
    10. Kate Baldwin & Rikhil R. Bhavnani, 2013. "Ancillary Experiments: Opportunities and Challenges," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2013-024, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Huber, Martin & Wüthrich, Kaspar, 2017. "Evaluating local average and quantile treatment effects under endogeneity based on instruments: a review," FSES Working Papers 479, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    12. Michela Bia & German Blanco & Marie Valentova, 2021. "The Causal Impact of Taking Parental Leave on Wages: Evidence from 2005 to 2015," LISER Working Paper Series 2021-08, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
    13. Torun, Huzeyfe, 2019. "Ex-ante labor market effects of compulsory military service," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 90-110.
    14. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    15. Hou, Benyufang & Liu, Hong & Wang, Sophie Xuefei, 2020. "Returns to military service in off-farm wage employment: Evidence from rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    16. Thomas Koch & Javier Birchenall, 2016. "Taking versus taxing: an analysis of conscription in a private information economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 167(3), pages 177-199, June.
    17. Jason M. Lindo & Charles Stoecker, 2014. "Drawn Into Violence: Evidence On “What Makes A Criminal” From The Vietnam Draft Lotteries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 239-258, January.
    18. François Gerard & Miikka Rokkanen & Christoph Rothe, 2020. "Bounds on treatment effects in regression discontinuity designs with a manipulated running variable," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), pages 839-870, July.
    19. Chen, Xuan & Flores, Carlos A. & Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso, 2015. "Going Beyond LATE: Bounding Average Treatment Effects of Job Corps Training," IZA Discussion Papers 9511, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Lauren L. Schmitz & Dalton Conley, 2016. "The Effect of Vietnam-Era Conscription and Genetic Potential for Educational Attainment on Schooling Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 22393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Veteran health; Treatment effects; Bounds; Instrumental variables;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:764. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.