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Friday, May 14, 2010

Selective Service Compliance

Here is an interesting masters thesis topic possibility. What explains the variation in selective service compliance rates across the states? The Selective Service recently released its "report card" on compliance which includes the following graph:



One hypothesis is selective service compliance is higher in states with a greater proportion of the population native-born. Another is that Selective Service compliance rates are higher in states with lower levels of education, perhaps with greater dependence on (federal) social services, in states with a greater proportion of the population attending college (compliance is required to obtain federal student aid), and in states with greater "patriotism" (however that would be measured). Perhaps compliance is highly correlated with the percentage of the population who is in or has been in the military? Perhaps compliance is lower where there is more angst about the recent wars?

On the other hand, it might be just as simple as "red state-blue state" - the green states seem highly correlated with the "red state" taxonomy from politics.

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