A new GLO Discussion Paper finds almost no statistically significant effects of a 6 to 9 month career interruption for young German men, with the exception of hourly wages.
The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 835, 2021
Effects of Mandatory Military Service on Wages and Other Socioeconomic Outcomes – Download PDF
by Puhani, Patrick A. & Sterrenberg, Margret K.
GLO Fellow Patrick Puhani
Author Abstract: In this paper, we estimate the effects of mandatory military service by exploiting the post-cold war decrease in the need for soldiers causing a substantial number of potential conscripts not to be drafted into the German military. Specifically, using previously unavailable information on degree of fitness in the military’s medical exam as a control variable, we test for the effects of mandatory military service on wages; employment; marriage/partnership status; and satisfaction with work, financial situation, health, family life, friends, and life in general. We find almost no statistically significant effects of this 6 to 9 month career interruption for young German men, with the exception of hourly wage, which shows a negative point estimate of -15 percent with a large confidence interval of between -30 and -0.2 percent. This interval estimate is consistent with previous findings for the United States, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS, EconPapers). Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.