Enlist or enroll: Credit constraints, college aid, and the military enlistment margin Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Money for education is a primary motivation for military enlistment. One explanation is that individuals use these benefits to overcome borrowing constraints. I explore this by examining the enlistment response of individuals to additional financial aid that can be used immediately upon high-school graduation or delayed until after military enlistment. I find that the introduction of a merit-aid program decreases the probability that a male enlists in the military by 0.6 percentage points (a 6% reduction), and that these effects are concentrated among applicants who are more likely to qualify for merit scholarships. The reductions are largest in low-income areas, supporting the argument that the effects on enlistment are a result of easing financial constraints.

published proceedings

  • Economics of Education Review

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Barr, A.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Barr, Andrew

publication date

  • January 2016