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.
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