The Supply of Enlistees to the Selected Reserve Forces

by William McNaught, Corazon M. Francisco


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This Note uses a simple theory of secondary labor-force participation to analyze the reserve enlistment decision. This theory, developed in Sec. II, emphasizes the tradeoff of leisure time for increased income as a key element in the reservist's supply decision. It also includes factors that distinguish the reserve enlistment decision from all other decisions to take a second job. Section III discusses the many difficult problems encountered in assembling the data necessary to test this model. Section IV presents the results, which generally confirm the hypotheses derived from the simple model. Finally, Sec. V comments on the policy implications of the results. Although wage elasticity results are not definitive, they call into question DOD's heavy reliance upon increased compensation incentives for solving reserve manning problems.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.