PATERNITY DEFERMENTS AND THE TIMING OF BIRTHS: U.S. NATALITY DURING THE VIETNAM WAR

Authors

  • ANDREA KUTINOVA

    1. Kutinova: Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand. Phone (+64-3) 364 2823, Fax (+64-3) 364 2635, E-mail andrea.kutinova@canterbury.ac.nz
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      I am indebted to Karen Conway, Robert Mohr, Partha Deb, Reagan Baughman, Robert Woodward, and seminar participants at the University of New Hampshire for very helpful suggestions and comments.


Abstract

During the conflict in Vietnam, married men with dependents could obtain a deferment from the draft. In 1965, following President Johnson’s Executive Order 11241 and a subsequent Selective Service System announcement, the particulars of this policy changed substantially in a way which provided strong incentives for childless American couples to conceive a first-born child. This study examines the effects of the intervention on the decision to start a family. In my empirical analysis, I use data from the Vital Statistics for the period 1963–1968 and employ a difference-in-differences methodology. The estimated magnitude of the effect is substantial. (JEL J18)

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