Michael L. Hansen

Associate Director, RAND Arroyo Center; Senior Economist; Faculty Member, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. and M.A. in economics, Boston College; B.A. in economics, Kalamazoo College

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Michael L. Hansen is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation where he serves as associate director of the RAND Arroyo Center, director of the RAND Arroyo Center Personnel, Training, and Health Program and a faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He has conducted research on military manpower and personnel issues for the past 15 years. His recent studies include analyses of the relationship between expectations about civilian labor markets and Army officer retention, and of the extent to which the Army has accrued, and is beginning to lose, deployment-related experience.

Before joining RAND, Hansen worked as a research analyst and project director at CNA. During this time, he served as field scientist at the Kentucky Department of Education and scientific analyst to the U.S. Navy's Director, Military Personnel Plans and Policy Division (N13), and to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Manpower and Reserve Affairs. He was also a member of the principal research staff of the Ninth and Tenth Quadrennial Reviews of Military Compensation. Hansen received his Ph.D. in economics from Boston College.

Recent Projects

  • Measuring the Army's deployment experience
  • Private-sector development and civil-service reform in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
  • Socioeconomic differences between military and civilian employment
  • Retention of the Army's highest-performing officers
  • Compensation and voluntary participation in the reserve components

Selected Publications

Michael Hansen, Diana Lien, "Compensation and Voluntary Participation in a Continuum of Service," The New Guard and Reserve, 2008

Michael Hansen, Peter Gottschalk, "Is the Proportion of College Graduates in 'Non-College' Jobs Increasing?" Modern Classics in the Economics of Education, 2006

Michael Hansen, Jennie Wenger, "Is the Pay Responsiveness of Enlisted Personnel Decreasing?" Defence and Peace Economics, 16(1):29-43, 2005

Michael Hansen, Sam Kleinman, "Military Compensation: When 50-Year-Olds Decide What 20-Year-Olds Want," CNA Research Memorandum D0012938, 2005

Michael Hansen, Donald Cymrot, "Overhauling Enlisted Careers and Compensation," Filling the Ranks: Transforming the U.S. Military Personnel System, 2004

Michael Hansen, Diana Lien, "Relative Pay and Teacher Retention: An Empirical Analysis in a Large Urban District," IPR Research Memorandum 11022, 2004

Honors & Awards

  • Gold Medal Award (2011), RAND
  • Outstanding Performance Award (2006), CNA
  • The Donald & Helene White Prize for the Outstanding Dissertation in the Field of Social Sciences (2000), Boston College