IZA DP No. 4212: Military Conscription and University Enrolment: Evidence from Italy
revised version published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2013, 26 (2), 619-644
Given that a growing number of countries have abolished or are considering the abolition of military conscription, understanding the consequences of this measure is of increased importance. In this paper we study the effect of the suppression of compulsory military service on university enrolment in Italy using double and triple differences models. The empirical results show that there is no compelling evidence suggesting that the abolition of military conscription has a causal effect on university enrolment. However, although there is no significant overall effect, we find some evidence of heterogeneous effects. While this measure seems to increase university participation among individuals from more advantaged backgrounds, it appears to have a detrimental effect on the enrolment of those from less advantaged backgrounds.