An analysis of the effect of marital/dependency status on retention, promotion, and on-the-job productivity of male Marine Corps officers
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This thesis investigates the effect of marital and family status on the performance and job productivity of male U.S. Marine Corps officers. The analysis includes evaluation of fitness reports, retention, and promotion to O-4 and O-5 ranks as performance measures. The primary goal is to examine the existence of any marriage premium on officers' performance and productivity and to investigate potential causal hypotheses. The personnel database used for the analysis includes more than 27,000 male Marine officers who entered the Marine Corps between FY 1980 and 1999. After controlling for selection, estimating fixed effects and using panel data in order to capture timely-varying effects, this study finds that there is a marriage premium for all performance measures. The thesis rejects the explanation that such premiums are due to supervisor favoritism. Moreover, married male officers obtain higher fitness report scores, higher promotion probabilities, and higher retention probabilities than single officers. Each additional year spent in marriage increases fitness report scores and retention probabilities. Having additional non-spousal dependents increase fitness report scores and retention probabilities. On the other hand, being a currently single but "to-be-married" officer yields higher premium, as married officers, for all productivity and performance indicators. This supports selectivity into marriage as a partial explanation of the source of the marriage premium.
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