Learning about Quality: How the Quality of Military Personnel Is Revealed over Time

By James R. Hosek; Michael G. Mattock | Go to book overview

Chapter Five
DATA AND EMPIRICAL RESULTS

In this chapter, we apply the model to three services and many cohorts and occupations. We first discuss the data we used for our analysis. Then we present a detailed look at the model for a particular service, cohort, and occupation before moving on to look across services, cohorts, and occupations. We show how the quality index can be used to test the hypothesis that the services have not had much success in retaining higher-quality personnel. We also show how the quality index provides evidence of sorting behavior by members when they choose whether to stay or separate. Members with a greater comparative advantage in the military tend to stay in the military, while those with a greater comparative advantage in the civilian world tend to leave.


THE DATA

We used longitudinal data provided by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC). These data, called the DMDC Special Cohort Accession and Continuer (DSCAC) file, track—through FY 1996—the careers of active-duty enlisted personnel who entered active duty in a given fiscal year. Each fiscal year entry group defines an entry cohort. Our analysis file includes entry cohorts from FY 1978 through FY 1992. For each cohort, the DSCAC data provide entry information (from the Military Entrance Processing Command), loss information, and either quarterly or semiannual information on each individual's active-duty career. The entry information includes AFQT score, ASVAB component scores, education at entry, race and ethnicity, occupation, age, and gender. The loss information, if relevant, includes occupation, marital and dependents status, education, and type of separation. The active-duty information includes occupation, education, pay grade, promotion date to current grade, and marital and dependents status.

We created several variables using the information provided in the DSCAC files. First, for each cohort we created variables indicating the number of months it took for an individual to be promoted to each grade. If the individual was not promoted to a given grade, variables were created that indicated this was the case. These “time to promotion” variables were used to estimate the quality index. Second, we created an attrition variable indicating whether an individual left before the completion of the enlistment term. Third, we created variables to indicate whether an individual reenlisted, extended, or left at the end of the first term. These variables can be used to

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Learning about Quality: How the Quality of Military Personnel Is Revealed over Time
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Tables ix
  • Summary xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - Previous Studies and Personnel Quality Indicators 5
  • Chapter Three - A Bayesian Model of Service Member Quality 17
  • Chapter Four - Model Implementation 27
  • Chapter Five - Data and Empirical Results 39
  • Chapter Six - Conclusions 55
  • Appendix A - Standardization and Comparison Between Groups 61
  • Appendix B - Analysis Tables 69
  • Appendix C - Parameter Estimates 85
  • Bibliography 107
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