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CAGE-AMES - Riccardo Di Leo (PGR)

Location: via Microsoft Teams

Title: You and whose army? Institutional trust and the end of military draft in Europe. (Work in Progress)”, joint with Vincenzo Bove (Warwick) and Marco Giani (King's College).

Abstract: Some pundits and political leaders believe that the widening distance between the citizen and the state could be tackled by reintroducing military conscription. Our empirical analysis, however, shows that doing so would likely produce the opposite effect. We compare the attitudes of cohorts of militaries vs civilians across 15 European democracies and show that institutional trust is significantly higher in the latter group. To deal with selection bias, we exploit quasi-random variation of military conscription policies, and hold women (who are exempted from conscription) as a counterfactual for the attitudinal patterns captured by our RD estimates. Further analysis suggests that this result is consistent with a bottom-up ``group thinking'' mechanism, rather than with a top-down ``authoritarian legacy'' one.

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