Quality Adjustment and the Excess Supply of Air Force Volunteers.

by Alvin A. Cook

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Development of a model of military enlistment behavior based on the principles of occupational choice. Observations are made of the enlistment decisions of individuals, related variations in enlistment behavior, and variations in expected military and civilian earnings. The attractiveness of the Air Force, both in itself and as an escape from the draft, has resulted in an excess supply of volunteers. Because of this excess supply and the lack of data on the total number of volunteers, direct estimation of the supply curve is not possible. However, in the context of the "queueing" concept of labor markets, an adjusted supply curve is developed from which parameters of the actual, but not observable, supply curve of volunteers can be inferred. It is shown that the average quality of recruit varies directly with the excess supply of volunteers. The elasticity of supply regarding the military-civilian earnings ratio is substantially larger than that obtained in previous studies. 11 pp. Ref.

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