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The Educational Legacy of the Greatest Generation: Paternal Military Service and Baby Boomer Educational Progress

Gray Kimbrough ()

No 13-16, UNCG Economics Working Papers from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics

Abstract: The American "high school movement" of the early 20th century resulted in a dramatic rise in high school graduation rates, a trend that continued into the middle of the century interrupted only by World War II. Previous work has characterized the pre-World War II transformation of secondary education, but less attention has been focused on the continued increased in educational attainment after the War, culminating in Baby Boomer children graduating from high school at a greater rate than any previous generation. High rates of military service and subsequent subsidies for factors shown to be associated with children's educational attainment o er a possible explanation. In this paper, I link Baby Boomer children to their fathers using IPUMS data to examine this relationship. Through linear regression and propensity score matching, I find that father's veteran status is associated with greater educational attainment for children. Exploiting discontinuities in military service, I further examine the exogeneity of this relationship, but I am unable to provide strong evidence that this is due to an exogenous effect of military service and GI Bill subsidies rather than positive selection into military service.

Keywords: Military service; World War II; Korean War; Education; Human capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 J62 N32 N42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 37 pages
Date: 2013-10-04, Revised 2016-05-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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