The War at Home: Effects of Vietnam-Era Military Service on Post-War Household Stability

20 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2011 Last revised: 14 Jan 2011

See all articles by Dalton Conley

Dalton Conley

New York University (NYU) - Department of Sociology; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jennifer Heerwig

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics; Stony Brook University

Date Written: January 2011

Abstract

Prior researchers have deployed the Vietnam-era draft lottery as an instrument to estimate causal effects of military service on health and income. This research has shown that effects of veteran status on mortality and earnings that appeared shortly after the war seem to have dissipated by 2000. While these are important outcomes to economists, by focusing on them, researchers may be neglecting an area of life that could be more sensitive to the psychological effects of military service: household and family life. In the present study we use the same IV approach to model the causal impact of Vietnam- era military service on four novel outcomes: residential stability, marital stability, housing tenure and extended family living arrangements. In analysis of the 2000 U.S. Census and the 2005 American Community Survey, we find that veteran status has no effect on housing tenure or residential stability. However, in the ACS sample, being a veteran appears to lower the likelihood of marital disruption, and results for extended family living arrangements appear to change signs across the two samples. Meanwhile, results tend to be strongest for whites.

Suggested Citation

Conley, Dalton and Heerwig, Jennifer, The War at Home: Effects of Vietnam-Era Military Service on Post-War Household Stability (January 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w16671, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1737219

Dalton Conley (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Sociology ( email )

New York, NY 10012
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jennifer Heerwig

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )

124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Stony Brook University ( email )

Health Science Center

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