Women at War: Understanding the Impacts of Combat on Women’s Educational Attainment
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This paper offers a first view on the potential economic outcomes for American women serving along-side men in combat roles. Specifically, this paper examines the impact of deployment and exposure to intense combat for women who served in the most high-risk occupations open to them in Iraq and Afghanistan on their subsequent use of GI bill benefits for higher education. It also compares these women to men who served in the same capacities and women who served in lower risk occupations. Women in general, and in these occupations in particular, were more likely than their male counterparts to use the GI bill. Following deployment, this paper presents robust evidence that women in all capacities, and men, were more likely to use their GI bill benefits. Moreover, exposure to intense combat, which was far more likely to impact these women than other women, detracted from their propensity to use the GI bill. This negative impact on pursuit of higher education was similar for both men and women. Taken together, this paper provides evidence that deployment may benefit the young men and women alike who serve in the U.S. military, and that both suffer together when faced with exposure to intense fighting.
The article of record as published may be found at http://doi.org/10.1080/10242694.2018.1467104
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