Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1426456
 
 

References (30)



 
 

Citations (4)



 


 



The Long-Term Effects of Military Conscription on Mortality: Estimates from the Vietnam-Era Draft Lottery


Dalton Conley


New York University (NYU) - Department of Sociology; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jennifer Heerwig


Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics; Stony Brook University

June 2009

NBER Working Paper No. w15105

Abstract:     
Research on the effects of Vietnam military service suggests that Vietnam veterans experienced significantly higher mortality than both non-Vietnam veterans and the civilian population at large. These results, however, may be biased by non-random selection into the military if unobserved background differences between veterans and non-veterans affect mortality directly. The present study generates unbiased estimates of the causal impact of Vietnam era draft eligibility on male mortality. Using records from the Vietnam draft lottery to assign decedents born 1950-1952 draft lottery numbers, the study estimates excess mortality among observed draft eligible male decedents as compared to the (1) expected proportion of draft eligible decedents given Vietnam draft eligibility cutoffs and (2) observed proportion of draft eligible female decedents. The results demonstrate that there appears to be no effect of draft exposure on mortality (even cause-specific death rates). When we examine population subgroups—including splits by race, educational attainment, nativity and marital status—we find weak evidence for an interaction between education and draft eligibility. On the whole, these results suggest that previous research, which has shown that Vietnam-era veterans experienced significantly higher mortality than non-veterans, may be biased by non-random selection into the military and may thus overstate the need for compensatory government pensions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

working papers series


Download This Paper

Date posted: June 30, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Conley, Dalton and Heerwig, Jennifer, The Long-Term Effects of Military Conscription on Mortality: Estimates from the Vietnam-Era Draft Lottery (June 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15105. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1426456

Contact Information

Dalton Conley (Contact Author)
New York University (NYU) - Department of Sociology ( email )
New York, NY 10012
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Jennifer Heerwig
Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )
124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Stony Brook University ( email )
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 477
Downloads: 13
References:  30
Citations:  4

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.219 seconds