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The Consequences of Child Soldiering

Blattman, Christopher J.; Anan, Jeannie

Little is known about the impacts of military service on human capital and labor market outcomes due to an absence of data as well as sample selection: recruits are self-selected, screened, and selectively survive. We examine the case of Uganda, where rebel recruitment methods provide exogenous variation in conscription. Economic and educational impacts are widespread and persistent: schooling falls by nearly a year, skilled employment halves, and earnings drop by a third. Military service seems to be a poor substitute for schooling. Psychological distress is evident among those exposed to severe war violence and is not limited to ex-combatants.

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Title
The Review of Economics and Statistics
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1162/REST_a_00036

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Academic Units
International and Public Affairs
Political Science
Published Here
June 26, 2014