Post-9/11 War Deployments Increased Crime Among Veterans

59 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2020

See all articles by Resul Cesur

Resul Cesur

Georgia State University - Department of Economics

Joseph Sabia

San Diego State University - Department of Economics

Erdal Tekin

American University

Abstract

Several high-profile news stories have linked post-September 11 (9/11) combat service to violent crime among veterans. Nevertheless, there is scant causal evidence for this claim. We exploit the administrative procedures by which U.S. Armed Forces senior commanders conditionally randomly assign active duty servicemen to overseas deployments to estimate the causal impact of modern warfare on crime.Using data from two national surveys and a unified framework, we find consistent evidence that post-9/11 combat service substantially increased the probability of crime commission among veterans. Combat increases the likelihood of property and violent crime, arrest, gang membership, trouble with police, and punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that post-9/11 combat exposure generated approximately $26.7 billion in additional crime costs. Finally, we document descriptive evidence that Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may be important mechanisms to explain post-9/11 combat-induced increases in crime.

Keywords: post-9/11 combat service, military deployments, war, crime, arrests

JEL Classification: H56, K14

Suggested Citation

Cesur, Resul and Sabia, Joseph and Tekin, Erdal, Post-9/11 War Deployments Increased Crime Among Veterans. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13304, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3614252

Resul Cesur (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

Joseph Sabia

San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
United States

Erdal Tekin

American University ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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