James Hosek

Photo of James Hosek
Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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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.

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

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 have 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 during the past few years for the Department of Defense and the Military Compensation and Retirement Reform Commission; reform legislation passed in 2015. 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. 

His 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

  • Reforming Military Retirement
  • Retaining Air Force Pilots When the Civilian Demand for Pilots Is Growing
  • Special and Incentive Pays to Retain Military Mental Health Care Providers
  • 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, 0, 2013

James Hosek, Beth Asch, John Warner, "New Economics of Manpower in the Post-Cold War Era," Handbook of Defense Economics, Vol. 2, 0, 2007

Sebastian Negrusa, Brighita Negrusa, James Hosek, "Gone to War: Have Deployments Increased Divorces?" Journal of Population Economics, 0, 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

James Hosek, Beth Asch, Michael Mattock, Should the Increase in Military Pay Be Slowed?RAND Corporation (TR-1185), 2012

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

David Knapp, Kristine Brown, James Hosek, Beth Asch, Michael Mattock, Retirement Benefits and Teacher Retention: A Structural Modeling Approach, RAND Corporation (RR-1448), 2016

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


  • High school student talking to a teacher near lockers

    The Hidden Costs of Pension Plan Reform

    While there are many policy options that may decrease pension liabilities for Chicago and cities and states in similar situations, some options being considered may also have serious consequences for the public sector workforce, now and in the future.

    May 18, 2016 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. Science Is Holding Its Own: Despite Cries of Alarm, We Remain the Global Leader in Innovation

    Since the end of the Cold War, many observers have feared the United States is losing its leadership in science and technology, but RAND research shows that the U.S. has more than kept pace with its peers by several measures, write Titus Galama and James Hosek.

    Jul 9, 2008 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette