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Occupational Fatalities and the Labor Supply: Evidence from the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Garret Christensen

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017, vol. 139, issue C, 182-195

Abstract: I find that full information utility maximization models are insufficient to explain the recruiting response to deaths of US soldiers in recent years. Using data of all applicants to the enlisted US military during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, deaths had a small but significant deterrent effect on recruiting in the soldiers’ home counties. The deterrent is larger for deaths from the same county than for deaths from neighboring counties or for out of county but in state deaths. The effect exhibits significant heterogeneity: deaths in Iraq decrease recruiting, while deaths in Afghanistan may increase recruiting, and the deterrent is more negative in less populous and more racially diverse counties; it is smaller or even positive in counties that voted for George W. Bush.

Keywords: Compensating differentials; Labor supply; Military labor supply; Salience (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:139:y:2017:i:c:p:182-195