William T. Bianco is Associate Professor of Political Science, N161 Burrowes, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802–6200.
Last Post for “The Greatest Generation”: The Policy Implications of the Decline of Military Experience in the U.S. Congress
Article first published online: 7 JAN 2011
2005 Comparative Legislative Research Center at the University of Iowa
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Volume 30, Issue 1, pages 85–102, February 2005
How to Cite
BIANCO, W. T. (2005), Last Post for “The Greatest Generation”: The Policy Implications of the Decline of Military Experience in the U.S. Congress. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 30: 85–102. doi: 10.3162/036298005X201464
- Issue published online: 7 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 7 JAN 2011
This paper characterizes the behavioral and policy implications of the decline in the number of military veterans in the U.S. Congress, from more than 70% of legislators in the early 1970s to less than 30% in the contemporary House and Senate. Many scholars argue that military service shapes information and beliefs, and that this decline has had negative effects on defense policy. The analysis tests these arguments using voting data from the House and Senate in the 1990s and the House in the 1970s, showing that the impact of veteran status on votes is generally small and has a relatively minor effect on legislative outcomes.