Blattman and Annan on the consequences of child soldiering (Review of Economics & Statistics)

A recent article, “The Consequences of Child Soldiering,” by Christopher Blattman and Jeannie Annan, appeared in the November issue of The Review of Economics & Statistics.

Abstract: 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.