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Estimating the causal effects of conscription on Australian conscripts

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • We present, and seek feedback on, the initial stages of a proposed research project, in which we plan to

    examine the effects of conscription in Australia. We focus on our aims and methodology. During 1965-72,

    twenty year old Australian men were required to register for the National Service military ballot. We will

    investigate the long term effects of conscription on the standard of living and social outcomes of conscripts. Key

    outcomes of interest include employment, education, income, disability, and marital status. Our innovative

    methodology exploits the ballot’s random assignment of a higher probability of military service. Previous

    Australian studies have only examined health outcomes, have not exploited the randomness of the ballot, and

    have ignored servicemen who stayed in Australia. We seek to disentangle the effect of temporary removal from

    the civilian labour market from the effect of combat and the direct and indirect effects of cash and noncash

    government benefits after repatriation. The institutional details of Australia’s conscription experience will allow

    us to make several contributions to the international literature on the effects of military service, such as the

    effect of non-combat service amongst men who did not serve abroad. Until recently, the necessary data to

    implement this study were not available. Our preliminary investigations suggest that conscription had very large

    effects on the employment and disability rates of National Servicemen. We seek to reconcile this with the US

    experience, where conscription seemed to have little or no effect on either employment or disability.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Siminski, P. & Ville, S. (2009). Estimating the causal effects of conscription on Australian conscripts. Social Innovation Network Conference (p. 23). Wollongong, Australia: University of Wollongong.

Start Page


  • 23

Place Of Publication


  • Wollongong, Australia

Abstract


  • We present, and seek feedback on, the initial stages of a proposed research project, in which we plan to

    examine the effects of conscription in Australia. We focus on our aims and methodology. During 1965-72,

    twenty year old Australian men were required to register for the National Service military ballot. We will

    investigate the long term effects of conscription on the standard of living and social outcomes of conscripts. Key

    outcomes of interest include employment, education, income, disability, and marital status. Our innovative

    methodology exploits the ballot’s random assignment of a higher probability of military service. Previous

    Australian studies have only examined health outcomes, have not exploited the randomness of the ballot, and

    have ignored servicemen who stayed in Australia. We seek to disentangle the effect of temporary removal from

    the civilian labour market from the effect of combat and the direct and indirect effects of cash and noncash

    government benefits after repatriation. The institutional details of Australia’s conscription experience will allow

    us to make several contributions to the international literature on the effects of military service, such as the

    effect of non-combat service amongst men who did not serve abroad. Until recently, the necessary data to

    implement this study were not available. Our preliminary investigations suggest that conscription had very large

    effects on the employment and disability rates of National Servicemen. We seek to reconcile this with the US

    experience, where conscription seemed to have little or no effect on either employment or disability.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Siminski, P. & Ville, S. (2009). Estimating the causal effects of conscription on Australian conscripts. Social Innovation Network Conference (p. 23). Wollongong, Australia: University of Wollongong.

Start Page


  • 23

Place Of Publication


  • Wollongong, Australia