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
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: Suggested Citation