An Assessment of the Available Evidence on the Returns to Military Training

by Eva M. Norrblom

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Reviews the relevant literature as part of the preliminary work undertaken for a RAND study investigating the economic returns to separatees from military vocational training. Such a review is an integral part of the larger study because it provides insights into reasons for the failure of previous studies to fully evaluate and test the hypothesis that military vocational training affects the civilian opportunities of separatees. Most of the available studies indicate that training in the military does not have a positive effect on the postservice civilian opportunities of veterans. This conclusion is reached despite evidence that more than three-fourths of the job specialties available to enlistees have direct civilian counterparts. Previous studies of the effect of military training focus on two issues: The first is the extent to which individuals utilize military-acquired skills in civilian jobs. The second is the economic effect of military training. (See R-1900.)

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