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The Consequences of Child Soldiering

Christopher Blattman () and Jeannie Annan
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Jeannie Annan: Yale University, School of Medicine and CIRA

The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2010, vol. 92, issue 4, 882-898

Abstract: Little is known about the impacts of military service on human capital and labor market outcomes due to an absence of data as well as sample selection: recruits are self-selected, screened, and selectively survive. We examine the case of Uganda, where rebel recruitment methods provide exogenous variation in conscription. Economic and educational impacts are widespread and persistent: schooling falls by nearly a year, skilled employment halves, and earnings drop by a third. Military service seems to be a poor substitute for schooling. Psychological distress is evident among those exposed to severe war violence and is not limited to ex-combatants. (c) 2010 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Date: 2010
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