EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?

Joshua Angrist () and Alan Krueger

No 634, Working Papers from Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section.

Abstract: Veterans of World War II are widely believed to earn more than nonveterans of the same age. Theoretical justifications for the World War II veteran premium include the subsidization of education and training, and preference for veterans in hiring. In this paper, we propose and test an alternative view: that the observed World War II veteran premium reflects the fact that men with higher earnings potential were more likely to have been selected into the Armed Forces. An empirical strategy is developed that allows estimation of the effects of veteran status while controlling for correlation with unobserved earnings potential. The estimation is based on the fact that from 1942 to 1947 priority for conscription was determined in chronological order of birth. Information on individuals' dates of birth may therefore be used to construct instruments for veteran status. Empirical results from the 1960, 1970, and 1980 Censuses, along with two other micro data sets, support a conclusion that World War II veterans earn no more than comparable nonveterans, and may well earn less. These results suggest that OLS estimates of the World War II veteran premium are severely biased by nonrandom selection into military service, and that the civilian labor market experiences of veterans of World War II were not very different from the experiences of Vietnam-era veterans.

Keywords: veteran; World War II; two stage least squares; selectivity bias (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G3 G31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
Date: 1989-06
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/bitstream/88435/dsp01b8515n37b/1/254.pdf

Related works:
Journal Article: Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans? (1994) Downloads
Working Paper: Why do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans? (1989) Downloads
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: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pri:indrel:254

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Bobray Bordelon ().

 
Page updated 2019-11-11
Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:254