Military Conscription, conscripts’ children, and mental health

Last registered on May 21, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Military Conscription, conscripts’ children, and mental health
Initial registration date
May 14, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 21, 2024, 10:58 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

University of Texas at Austin

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Military conscription is a common national policy worldwide. It has direct consequences for its participants but could also cause externalities to participants’ relatives. Given the detrimental effects of traumatic experiences and the potential for intergenerational transmission, it is important to understand the unintended consequences of military conscription. I exploit the random variation in military service created by Argentina’s conscription to understand its effects on the mental health of conscripts and their children. Conscripts are called to serve at 18 years old, leaving their homes, separating themselves from their community, and involving in physically and mentally demanding training. This happens at an age when people are more susceptible to the effects of trauma, which has been associated with poorer mental health. Using survey data, I will estimate the effect of military conscription on mental health, specifically anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. I will also study the effect of having a father who was military conscripted on children’s mental health.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Vazquez, Antonia. 2024. "Military Conscription, conscripts’ children, and mental health." AEA RCT Registry. May 21.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The mental health of parents and children (anxiety, depression, and PTSD), alcohol use
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Vascular diseases, BMI, parental style, and experience of violence
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
I exploit the random assignment of eligibility for Argentine military conscription. I use administrative data on the draft and data from a survey to measure outcomes. I obtained the lottery draft results and cutoff numbers from Galiani, Rossi, and Schargrodsky (2011), which combined with the information from the survey, allows me to identify people who were mandated to do military service. If the person's lottery-assigned number was above the cutoff number, he was eligible to serve in the military. This allows me to identify the intention to treat the population.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Public lottery
Randomization Unit
At the individual level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Depends on survey take-up rate
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Depends on the survey take-up rate and the cutoff numbers used to assign people to being conscripts or not
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number