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To Draft or Not to Draft? Efficiency, Generational Incidence, and Political Economy of Military Conscription

Panu Poutvaara () and Andreas Wagener

No 1559, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We study the efficiency and distributional consequences of establishing and abolishing the draft in a dynamic model with overlapping generations, taking into account endogenous human capital formation as well as government budget constraints. The introduction of the draft initially benefits the older generation while harming the young and all future generations. Its Pareto-improving abolition requires levying age-dependent taxes on the young. These being infeasible, abolition of the draft would harm the old. The intergenerational incidence of the gains and losses from its introduction and abolition helps to explain the political allure of the draft.

Keywords: conscription; education; intergenerational fairness; draft (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 H20 H57 I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2005-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pol
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Published in: European Journal of Political Economy, 2007, 23 (4), 975-987

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Related works:
Journal Article: To draft or not to draft? Inefficiency, generational incidence, and political economy of military conscription (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: To draft or not to draft? Inefficiency, generational incidence, and political economy of military conscription (2007)
Working Paper: To Draft or not to Draft? Efficiency, Generational Incidence, and Political Economy of Military Conscription (2005) Downloads
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