Cover: A Note on Social Welfare Losses With and Without the Draft

A Note on Social Welfare Losses With and Without the Draft

Published 1975

by Richard V.L. Cooper


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A reassessment of the social costs associated with draft and no-draft military forces. Although public attention tends to center on budget costs, the more relevant variable from the standpoint of public policy is social cost, since this is the price that society as a whole pays for maintaining a military labor force. This analysis shows that social welfare losses are possible both with and without the draft. Those associated with the draft are considerably in excess of those associated with a volunteer military. More generally, this analysis points to the importance of the methods for measuring social costs and to the need for more comprehensive treatment of these costs as an input to public policy.

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