Draft lottery data combined with Danish longitudinal administrative records show that military service can reduce criminal activity for youth offenders. For this group property crime is reduced, and our results indicate that the effect is unlikely to be the result of incapacitation only. We find no effect of military service on violent crime, on educational attainment, or on employment and earnings, either in the short or the long run. These results suggest that military service does not upgrade productive human capital directly, but rather impacts criminal activity through other channels, for example by changing attitudes to criminal activity.
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The Scandinavian Journal of Economics