Reenlistment behavior of nuclear-trained enlisted men
Cook, Richard Wayne
Solnick, Loren M.
Henderson, David R.
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The thesis investigates reenlistment behavior of a particular occupational sector of the U.S. Navy. The data set consists of enlisted members with nuclear NECs and 4 to 9 years of service during the 1977-1987 time frame. Specific pay and employment data from the civilian nuclear industry is used for comparison to military pay. Two econometric modeling techniques are employed: logit analysis for individual level data, and time-series cross-sectional analysis for pooled data. The effect on reenlistment probability of changes in relative military and civilian salaries is determined. The results demonstrate the importance of pay to the reenlistment decisions of these men, but indicate that the supply elasticity is relatively low. It is argued that this low responsiveness of retention to pay changes is due not only to the arduous conditions of the work environment, but to the fact that military to civilian pay ratios were uniformly low during the period of observation. Previous research concerning the relationship of retention to pay has aggregated occupational categories and found higher elasticities. This paper shows that retention behavior can be better understood using information about compensation in disaggregated military occupational sectors and specific civilian alternatives.
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