Enlistment Decisions in the 1990s: Evidence from Individual-Level Data

By M. Rebecca Kilburn; Jacob A. Klerman | Go to book overview

Chapter Three
CHANGES IN THE RECRUITING ENVIRONMENT

Given the model of individual choice outlined above, what reason do we have to reestimate it with more recent data? That is, what has changed since 1980 that leads us to question the applicability of the Hosek and Peterson estimates to the current environment? A variety of factors have changed in the interim—factors that we expect would have affected both the individual characteristics and choice attributes, or X's in the model, and factors that would have affected the coefficients, or [β]'s in the model. We briefly summarize these factors here, indicating likely ways they would influence the estimates.

We maintain the theoretical approach of Hosek and Peterson outlined in the previous chapter. In that model, recruit supply and demand factors interact to yield recruiting outcomes. The effects outlined here are ceteris paribus—that is, they describe a change elicited by one variable at a time while holding constant all other factors in the model. Note that like Hosek and Peterson, we only have one year of data available and so are not able to explore across time variation in variables. Hence, we do not explicitly test whether the changes discussed in this chapter have specific effects on the model in our later empirical chapter. The discussion here is meant to be a survey of some of the possible factors that changed between the early 1980s and collection of the NELS data that might have influenced the relationship between individual characteristics and enlistment probabilities.

In general terms, a change that is related to one of the variables we include in the model is likely to result in a change in the levels of the variable or in the estimate of the coefficient for that variable. For

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Enlistment Decisions in the 1990s: Evidence from Individual-Level Data
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables vii
  • Summary ix
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - Model of Individual Enlistment Decisions 5
  • Chapter Three - Changes in the Recruiting Environment 15
  • Chapter Four - Nels Data 31
  • Chapter Five - Results 37
  • Chapter Six - Conclusions 65
  • Appendix A - Supplementary Tables 69
  • Appendix B - Testing for Differences from Hosek and Peterson Results 79
  • References 83
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