Long-Term Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings
53 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2007 Last revised: 25 Aug 2022
Date Written: September 2007
This paper uses the 2000 Census 1-in-6 sample to look at the long-term impact of Vietnam-era military service. Instrumental Variables estimates using draft-lottery instruments show post-service earnings losses close to zero in 2000, in contrast with earlier results showing substantial earnings losses for white veterans in the 1970s and 1980s. The estimates also point to a marked increase in schooling that appears to be attributable to the Vietnam-era GI Bill. The net wage effects observed in the 2000 data can be explained by a flattening of the experience profile in middle age and a modest return to the increased schooling generated by the GI Bill. Evidence on disability effects is mixed but seems inconsistent with a long-term effect of Vietnam-era military service on health.
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