The Returns to Military and Civilian Training

by Eva M. Norrblom


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An examination of the economic effects of formal military vocational training and informal on-the-job training acquired while working in a military specialty. The findings support the economic and statistical significance of military training in explaining differences in the postservice wages of separatees. Formal vocational training in the military tends to have significantly positive effect on postservice wages if individuals enter civilian occupations related to their military specialties. However, informal on-the-job training in military specialties parallel to the current civilian occupations of separatees does not have a significantly positive effect on their postservice opportunities. The report also evaluates the extent to which the returns to various types of training were overestimated or underestimated by previous studies. It shows that the returns are significantly smaller to academic training, but greater to civilian on-the-job training, than indicated by past studies.

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