A Note on Social Welfare Losses with and without the Draft,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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The system of manpower procurement clearly has a substantial effect on the social cost of maintaining a military labor force. Determining the social costs of alternative procurement policies is a difficult task, both theoretically and empirically. As a result, past efforts have tended to focus only on specific pieces of the system, such as the implicit tax imposed on young men of military age, rather than on the more general issue of social costs. The approach presented here, though admittedly incomplete, is offered as a first step toward a more comprehensive treatment of the social costs of maintaining a military labor force under alternative manpower procurement policies. The results presented here show that the social welfare costs of the draft are likely to be much larger than previously estimated and to be considerably in excess of those costs associated with a volunteer military. At the same time, social welfare losses remain a distinct possibility in the absence of the draft, a possibility which assumes a potential importance in light of the recent and sizeable reductions in manpower strengths. More generally, this analysis points to the importance of the methods for measuring social costs and the need for more comprehensive treatment of these costs as an imput to public policy.
- Sociology and Law
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations