Economics at your fingertips  

Conscription: Economic costs and political allure

Panu Poutvaara () and Andreas Wagener

Economics of Peace and Security Journal, 2007, vol. 2, issue 1, 6-15

Abstract: Since Adam Smith, most economists have held that a professional army is superior to a conscript army, thanks to benefitting from comparative advantage and specialization. We summarize recent literature on the benefits and costs of the military draft, with special emphasis on its dynamic effects on human capital formation. Empirical evidence refutes the claim that the economic costs of the draft would be balanced by increased democratic control or reduced likelihood of war. Rather, the political allure of conscription seems to arise from the possibility to concentrate the tax burden on a minority of voters in a way that is generally held to be unacceptable with normal taxation.

Keywords: Conscription; economic costs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 H56 O1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (12) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)
Open access 24 months after original publication.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

Economics of Peace and Security Journal is currently edited by Michael Brown and J Paul Dunne

More articles in Economics of Peace and Security Journal from EPS Publishing Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Michael Brown, Managing Editor, EPSJ ().

Page updated 2021-09-16
Handle: RePEc:epc:journl:v:2:y:2006:i:1:p:6-15