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Research on the effects of Vietnam military service suggests that Vietnam veterans experienced significantly higher mortality than both non-Vietnam veterans and the civilian population at large. These results, however, may be biased by non-random selection into the military if unobserved background differences between veterans and non-veterans affect mortality directly. This paper generates unbiased estimates of the causal impact of Vietnam era draft eligibility on male mortality. On the whole, these results suggest that previous research, which has shown that Vietnam-era veterans experienced significantly higher mortality than non-veterans, may be biased by non-random selection into the military and may thus overstate the need for compensatory government pensions.
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