The effect of graduate education on the performance of Air Force officers
Pearson, Jeffrey P.
Mehay, Stephen L.
Kocher, Kathryn M.
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This thesis investigates the effects of graduate education on the retention and promotion of Line of the Air Force (LAF) officers at the rank of Captain and Major. Logistic regression models are estimated to examine the effects of graduate education on the retention of Captains and Majors and on promotion to Major using data from the Active Duty Military Master File for fiscal years 1992 through 2006. A difference-in-difference estimator is incorporated into the promotion model to evaluate the effects of an Air Force policy change intended to eliminate any bias towards advanced education at promotion boards. Besides graduate education, explanatory variables include basic demographic traits and professional characteristics. Results indicate that graduate education has a positive effect on retention of LAF officers at the rank of Captain and Major. Findings from the promotion model indicate that graduate education also has a positive effect on promotion but results for the change in policy (masking education information for promotion) are inconclusive. In addition, race and career field are shown to influence both retention behavior and promotion while gender significantly affects retention but not promotion.
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