Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/30603
Authors: 
Poutvaara, Panu
Wagener, Andreas
Year of Publication: 
2009
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo working paper 2821
Abstract: 
Though in decline recently, military conscription is still a widely used mode of staffing armies. Since not many valid economic, social or military arguments in favor of the draft can be put forward, the question emerges why societies choose to rely on it. In this survey we explain the political allure of military conscription by its specific intra- and intergenerational incidence as a tax. From a public choice perspective, there is always a vast majority of people in favor of the introduction and maintenance of military draft, as compared to a professional army. Empirical evidence for this conclusion appears to be mixed, however. Political preferences with respect to conscription involve concerns about its unfairness and questionable record on social accounts. Special interests may also matter.
Subjects: 
military draft
public choice
taxation
dynamic costs
fairness
JEL: 
H56
D72
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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