Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

One of the principal challenges for defense managers in recent years has been to attract military recruits within a reasonable level of recruiting expenditure. This report describes the results of a nationwide experiment designed to provide new data on a key enlistment incentive: the cash enlistment bonus, which is paid to qualified recruits entering critical occupational specialties. The report documents the experiment, explains the analysis of its results, and assesses the effects of enlistment bonuses on the Army recruiting process. It addresses three principal effects of the bonus program: (1) attracting "high-quality" recruits into the Army; (2) encouraging enlistments in hard-to-fill critical specialties; and (3) influencing recruits to sign contracts for longer terms of service. The experimental results show that bonuses have substantial effects on recruiting and are a very flexible policy tool, making them a useful option for management of enlistment flows and for overcoming personnel shortages in critical skills.

This report is part of the RAND report series. The report was a product of RAND from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND 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.