The Health Effects of Military Service: Evidence from the Vietnam Draft

Economic Inquiry, Vol. 47, Issue 1, pp. 69-80, January 2009

12 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2009

See all articles by Carlos Dobkin

Carlos Dobkin

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics

Reza Shabani

University of California, Berkeley

Abstract

There is a strong cross-sectional association between military service and adverse health. However, veterans differ very significantly in their observable characteristics from nonveterans, suggesting that some of the association between military service and adverse health may be due to omitted variables bias. To address this problem, we use draft eligibility as an instrument for military service. Despite a very strong first-stage relationship between draft eligibility and military service, the two-stage least squares estimates of the difference in health between veterans and nonveterans are statistically insignificant and too imprecise to preclude the differences in health found in the cross-sectional regressions.

JEL Classification: H56, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Dobkin, Carlos and Shabani, Reza, The Health Effects of Military Service: Evidence from the Vietnam Draft. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 47, Issue 1, pp. 69-80, January 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1331683 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2007.00103.x

Carlos Dobkin (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics ( email )

Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States

Reza Shabani

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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