Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 619–644 | Cite as

Military conscription and university enrolment: evidence from Italy

  • Giorgio Di Pietro
Original Paper


This paper analyses the effect of the abolition of compulsory military service (CMS) on university enrolment in Italy. A triple-difference model is used to account for various potentially confounding factors. The identification strategy exploits variation along three dimensions: (a) between gender, (b) between age-groups and (c) between time periods. The results show that there is no statistically significant evidence suggesting that the abolition of CMS has a causal effect on the decision to enrol in university studies. Estimates obtained employing a double-difference model exploiting variation along the dimensions (a) and (b) overestimate the effect. Finally, although there is no statistically significant overall effect, we find some evidence of heterogeneous effects between students from different social backgrounds.


Compulsory military service University enrolment Triple-difference estimation 

JEL Classification

I20 J24 



I would like to thank two anonymous referees, Bruce D. Meyer, Lionel Page, Christopher R. Taber and participants at the 2009 annual meeting of the Spanish Economic Association for their helpful comments and suggestions. An earlier version of this paper circulated as IZA Discussion Paper No. 4212. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Westminster, Westminster Business SchoolLondonUK

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