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Thursday, May 21 • 9:00am - 10:30am
D1b Financial Well-Being Among Veterans, Dependents, and Civilians: A Natural Experiment

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There are 18.2 million veterans in the United States. Former servicemen and women form a large and relatively homogenous group of consumers with special training and demands. To put this into perspective, the subpopulation of veterans represents more than twice the number of people in New York City. However, veterans as consumers are critically understudied and little is known about the impact of joining and leaving the military on their financial well-being compared to those who have never served. The current study proposes a natural experiment among 759 veterans, 387 of their dependents, and 5,085 civilians to assess the impact of their veteran status on financial well-being. A non-parametric nearest neighbor matching was utilized to estimate the average treatment effect of being a veteran on a comparable set of civilians, veteran family members, and the servicemen and women themselves. The results indicate that joining and leaving the military would not improve financial well-being across the entire population. However, veterans and their dependents significantly benefit from their status compared to a counterfactual world in which they had never joined the army. It is argued that these benefits arise from the specialized training that this subpopulation received during their service.

Author(s): Dominik Piehlmaier, Dee Warmath


Dominik Piehlmaier

Assistant Professor, University of Sussex Business School

Thursday May 21, 2020 9:00am - 10:30am CDT
Room 1