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The Effects of World War II Military Service: Evidence from Australia

  • Alex Cousley (a1), Peter Siminski (a2) and Simon Ville (a3)
Abstract

Outside of the United States, few studies have estimated the effects of World War II service. In Australia, general war-time conscription and minimal involvement in the Korean War led to large cohort differences in military service rates, which we use for identification. We find a small, temporary negative effect on employment and a substantial positive effect on post-school qualifications, but not at the university level. While service increased home ownership slightly, it greatly reduced outright home ownership, consistent with the incentives provided by veterans' housing benefits. We also find a positive effect on marriage, but only from 1971.

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We are grateful to the editors (Paul Rhode and William Collins), two anonymous referees, Denzil Fiebig, Tim Hatton and Alfredo Paloyo, seminar participants at Deakin University, University of Melbourne, ANU, UTS, and at the 3rd Australasian Cliometrics Workshop for comments and discussions which improved the paper greatly. We thank the Department of Veterans' Affairs and Australian Bureau of Statistics for access and assistance with de-identified data. Siminski acknowledges grant support from the Australian Research Council (DE120101642).

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The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-economic-history
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