The Effects of World War II Military Service: Evidence from Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Economic History, 2017, 77 (3), pp. 838 - 865
Issue Date:
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© 2017 The Economic History Association. Outside of the United States, few studies have estimated the effects of World War II service. In Australia, general war-time conscription and minimal involvement in the Korean War led to large cohort differences in military service rates, which we use for identification. We find a small, temporary negative effect on employment and a substantial positive effect on post-school qualifications, but not at the university level. While service increased home ownership slightly, it greatly reduced outright home ownership, consistent with the incentives provided by veterans' housing benefits. We also find a positive effect on marriage, but only from 1971.
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