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Wages, Earnings, and Occupational Status: Did World War II Veterans Receive a Premium?
Social Science Research (2004)
  • Jay Teachman, Western Washington University
  • Lucky Tedrow, Western Washington University
Over 16 million men served during World War II (WWII), and we know that veterans obtained more education and earned higher incomes than did non-veterans and that these premiums were more substantial for Blacks and less educated men. However, we know very little about the reasons for such veteran premiums. Using several distinct, yet connected, theoretical traditions that have been used to link military service to subsequent outcomes—theories of the life course, the status attainment perspective, relatively new conceptualizations of social capital, economic theories of human capital, and theories of selectivity—we seek to redress this lack of understanding. We use survey data from the National Longitudinal Study of Mature Men (NLSMM) to examine the long-term effects of military service during WWII on occupational and income attainments. We find that the effects associated with being a veteran of WWII are modest and are mostly limited to less advantaged veterans, and can be largely explained by differences in human capital investment or selectivity. The one finding that cannot be explained by differences in family background, human capital investments, and selectivity is a higher hourly wage rate associated with being a Black veteran.
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
Published by Elsevier DOI:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2003.09.007
Citation Information
Jay Teachman and Lucky Tedrow. "Wages, Earnings, and Occupational Status: Did World War II Veterans Receive a Premium?" Social Science Research Vol. 33 Iss. 4 (2004)
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