The Draft Lottery and Attitudes Towards the Vietnam War

Posted: 18 Aug 2009

Date Written: Summer 2009


The most striking and theoretically anomalous finding of previous research on self-interest and attitudes is the absence of a self-interest motive in support for the Vietnam War. This research note reconsiders this result using a panel survey of university students collected before and after the first Vietnam draft lottery. These data are unique because they allow the unbiased estimation of the effect of self-interest on attitudes toward the war. I find that, contrary to previous results, self-interest had a substantial impact on support for the war.

Suggested Citation

Bergan, Daniel, The Draft Lottery and Attitudes Towards the Vietnam War (Summer 2009). Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 73, Issue 2, pp. 379-384, 2009, Available at SSRN: or

Daniel Bergan (Contact Author)

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

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