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Stability of risk and time preferences after a military mission in Afghanistan
Jc Vergnaud  1@  
1 : Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, CNRS, Paris 1
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Centre d'Economie de la Soronne

This paper investigates the stability of time and risk preferences by exploiting a natural experiment. We use pre- and post-deployment surveys conducted for the Danish soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in the spring 2011 and exploit the fact that in modern wars, and especially in Afghanistan, combat exposure in the form of ambush, improvised explosive devices, or an exchange of shots is as good as randomly distributed within and between combat units. We test both the effect of deployment and combat on these preferences and personality traits. In general time and risk preferences show a high correlation before and after, and soldiers appear to be relieved after the mission, becoming less neurotic. We also find that combat has an impact on risk preferences making soldiers more risk lover. Furthermore, first-timers appear to be more risk averse in general and become more patient after the mission.

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