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Career Interruption and Productivity: Evidence from Major League Baseball during the Vietnam War Era

Brennan Mange and David Phillips ()

Journal of Human Capital, 2016, vol. 10, issue 2, 159 - 185

Abstract: Can temporary shocks to training and early career experience permanently reduce productivity? Using detailed data on the careers and productivity of Major League Baseball players subject to the Vietnam War draft, we find that birth dates randomly drawn in the draft produce 19 percent fewer major league players. Players born on draft days who do make it to Major League Baseball produce 29 percent fewer wins than those born on nondraft days, a gap that is largest for the most productive players and persists as players age. In addition, the tendency of the draft to push men toward more schooling generates at least some of our results.

Date: 2016
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