In this paper, I gauge the impact of veteran status on migration probabilities for black and white men in the late 20th century United States, comparing cohorts that were subject to various military staffing policies. I find that white veterans are more likely than are white non-veterans to live outside the state of their birth and to have recently migrated. These effects persist regardless of whether veterans were subject to the draft or the All Volunteer Force staffing policy, and are durable across the life course. Among blacks, elevated rates of veterans’ migration are first observed in 1980. These results illuminate a previously unidentified consequence of veteran status, and may point to a policy-linked mechanism through which prior military employment influences social mobility, the American labor force is redistributed, and the racial composition of states and localities is altered.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 2011
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