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The Casualty GapThe Causes and Consequences of American Wartime Inequalities$
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Douglas Kriner and Francis Shen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195390964

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390964.001.0001

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Selection, Occupational Assignment, and the Emergence of the Casualty Gap

Selection, Occupational Assignment, and the Emergence of the Casualty Gap

(p.56) 3 Selection, Occupational Assignment, and the Emergence of the Casualty Gap
The Casualty Gap

Douglas L. Kriner (Contributor Webpage)

Francis X. Shen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the capacity of two mechanisms to explain the casualty gaps that emerged in each of the four wars: selection into the armed forces and occupational assignment within the military. Selection mechanisms capture the complex mix of volunteering, active military recruitment, and conscription policies that shape the composition of the military. Occupational assignment mechanisms capture the process through which the military assigns some recruits to positions with high risks of combat exposure, and others to occupations with considerably lower combat risks. Changes in these selection and assignment policies over time help explain both variance in the nature of the casualty gaps observed across wars and even, in the case of Vietnam, temporal changes in the casualty gap within a single conflict.

Keywords:   war casualties, selection mechanisms, occupational assignment, military

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