Conscription as Regulation

27 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2004

See all articles by Casey B. Mulligan

Casey B. Mulligan

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Andrei Shleifer

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2004

Abstract

We examine the practice of military conscription around the world from the perspective of two standard theories, and a new one, which emphasizes the fixed cost of introducing and administering the draft as a deterrent to its use. We find that, holding the relative size of the military constant, higher population countries are more likely to use the draft. We also find that French legal origin countries, which we see as facing lower fixed and variable administrative costs, are more likely to draft than are common law countries. Conscription does not seem to be influenced by democracy, and is influenced by the deadweight costs of taxation only in countries with very large militaries. The results suggest that fixed costs of introducing and administering new regulations may be an important determinant of their use.

Suggested Citation

Mulligan, Casey B. and Shleifer, Andrei, Conscription as Regulation (June 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10558. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=557191

Casey B. Mulligan (Contact Author)

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Andrei Shleifer

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