Battle Scars? The Puzzling Decline in Employment and Rise in Disability Receipt among Vietnam Era Veterans
Author(s)Autor, David H.; Duggan, Mark G.; Lyle, David S.
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The impact of military service in the Vietnam War on the well-being of veterans has been a contentious topic since at least the war’s end. A focal point of discussion is the prevalence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among Vietnam veterans. According to the influential National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (Richard A. Kulka and William E. Schlenger, 1988), 15 percent of Vietnam veterans were suffering from PTSD in 1988 and 31 percent had experienced PTSD cumulatively. More than thirty years after the war’s conclusion, this topic has gained renewed salience due to the rapid rise in the number of Vietnam era veterans receiving Disability Compensation (DC) payments for PTSD, which approximately tripled—from 90,695 to 268,865—between 1999 and 2010 (Department of Veterans Affairs, various years). Only veterans can qualify for the DC program, which provides a monthly stipend, not subject to state or federal taxation, as well as health insurance to veterans with disabilities that were caused or aggravated by military service.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Economics
American Economic Review
American Economic Association
Autor, David H., Mark G. Duggan and David S. Lyle."Battle Scars? The Puzzling Decline in Employment and Rise in Disability Receipt among Vietnam Era Veterans." American Economic Review, May 2011. Vol. 101, Iss. 3; pg. 339-344.
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