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Poutvaara, Panu; Wagener, Andreas (2007): To draft or not to draft? Inefficiency, generational incidence, and political economy of military conscription. In: European Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 23, No. 4: pp. 975-987
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We study the military draft as a form of intergenerational redistribution, taking into account endogenous human capital formation. Introducing the military draft initially benefits the older generation while it harms the young and all future generations. As it distorts human capital formation more severely than an equivalent intergenerational transfer using public debt or pay-as-you-go pensions, the draft can be abolished in a Pareto-improving way if age-dependent taxes are available. In the absence of age-specific taxes, the political allure of the draft can be explained by the specific intergenerational incidence of its costs and benefits.