March 2006

IZA DP No. 2022: Military Draft and Economic Growth in OECD Countries

published in: Defense and Peace Economics, 2009, 20 (5), 373-393

Economic theory predicts that military conscription is associated with static inefficiencies as well as with dynamic distortions of the accumulation of human and physical capital. Relative to an economy with an all-volunteer force, output levels and growth rates should be lower in countries that rely on a military draft to recruit their army personnel. For OECD countries, we show that military conscription indeed has a statistically significantly negative impact on economic performance.