Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis
The Economic Cost of Conscription and an Upper Bound on the Value of a Statistical Life: Hedonic Estimates from Two Margins of Response to the Vietnam Draft
This study estimates the cost of the Vietnam draft by applying hedonic methods to the decision to attend college and the decision to voluntarily enlist. In 2009 dollars, the estimated cost of the draft is roughly $115,000 for the marginal military recruit. For the marginal college student, the estimated cost is only $30,000 and probably understates the true amount because men were credit-constrained and college required an upfront cost. Supposing that the costs other than fatality risk were positive, our preferred specifications produce an upper bound on the Value of a Statistical Life ranging from $7 million to $12 million.
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