Katarina Keller, Panu Poutvaara, Andreas Wagener
Does a Military Draft Discourage Enrollment in Higher Education?
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Using data from 1960 to 2000 for OECD countries, we analyze the effect of compulsory military service on the demand for higher education, measured by the fraction of the working-age population enrolled in tertiary education. Based on a theoretical model, we hypothesize that a military draft has a negative effect on education. Empirically, we confirm this for the mere existence of conscription, albeit usually at low statistical significance. However, increasing intensity of its enforcement, measured by the share of the labor force conscripted by the military and the duration of service, significantly reduces enrollment in higher education.