Millions of young people worldwide are subject to military conscription. While the effects of conscription on educational attainment have been widely studied, little is known about effects on skills. To estimate military service effects on skills, we use the Danish draft lottery and skills measures from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. While service is associated with relatively poor skills, we find positive causal effects on numeracy and literacy measured 10 years post-service. Service effects are largest for men with low scores in Armed Forces Qualification Tests, who are more likely to complete vocational training after service.
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Published inJournal of Human Capital