James Hosek

James Hosek
Adjunct Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. and M.A. in economics, University of Chicago; B.A. in English, Cornell University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

More Experts


James Hosek is an adjunct economist at the RAND Corporation and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research has focused on military recruiting, retention, compensation, deployment, personnel quality, and family well-being. Other topics include teacher retention and U.S. competitiveness in science and engineering.

He was editor-in-chief of The RAND Journal of Economics, a leading peer-reviewed journal on industrial organization, from 1989 to 2018. His management positions at RAND included chairing the Economics and Statistics Department, directing the Forces and Resources Policy Center of RAND's National Defense Research Institute, and serving as corporate research manager in Human Capital.

Hosek and his colleagues provided extensive analyses on military retirement reform to defense policymakers, and a reformed system was implemented in 2018. He conducted research for the 7th, 9th, 10th, and 11th Quadrennial Reviews of Military Compensation, was a member of the Strengthening America's Future initiative of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and chaired the Economic Advisory Council of the California Institute, a nonprofit organization informing California's congressional delegation on policy matters. 

Hosek's research has received RAND's gold and bronze Medal Awards, Spotlight Innovation award, and the President's Award. He is a member of Economists in National Security Analysis, a fellow of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, a member of the American Economic Association, and is in Who's Who. Hosek received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

Recent Projects

  • Military and Civilian Pay Levels, Trends, and Recruit Quality
  • A Wage Differential Approach to Managing Special and Incentive Pay
  • An Assessment of the Military Survivor Benefit Plan
  • Retirement Benefits and Teacher Retention: A Structural Modeling Approach
  • Toward Efficient Retirement Accrual Charges

Selected Publications

James Hosek, Shelley MacDermid, "Economic Conditions of Military Families," Future of Children, 2013

James Hosek, Beth Asch, John Warner, "New Economics of Manpower in the Post-Cold War Era," Handbook of Defense Economics, Vol. 2, 2007

Sebastian Negrusa, Brighita Negrusa, James Hosek, "Gone to War: Have Deployments Increased Divorces?" Journal of Population Economics, 2013

Beth Asch, James Hosek, Michael Mattock, Rita Karam, Retaining Air Force Pilots When the Civilian Demand for Pilots Is Growing, RAND Corporation (RR-1455), 2016

Beth Asch, James Hosek, Michael Mattock, Toward Meaningful Compensation Reform, RAND Corporation (RR-501), 2014

Titus Galama and James Hosek, U.S. Competitiveness in Science and Technology, RAND Corporation (MG-674), 2008

James Hosek, Beth J. Asch, Michael G. Mattock, Troy Smith, Military and Civilian Pay Levels, Trends, and Recruit Quality, RAND Corporation (RR-2396), 2018

Honors & Awards

  • President's Award, RAND
  • Gold Award, RAND
  • Spotlight Innovation Award, RAND

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Army Times; Associated Press; Los Angeles Times; Scripps Howard News Service; USA Today

Commentary: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette