Cover: Economic Factors in Reserve Attrition

Economic Factors in Reserve Attrition

Prior Service Individuals in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve

Published 1989

by M. Susan Marquis, Sheila Nataraj Kirby


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This report analyzes the separation decisions of prior-service reservists in the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard, the two components that recruit over 60 percent of all Selected Reserve prior-service accessions. The authors examine the effects of military compensation on attrition among prior-service reservists. They also investigate the ways separation patterns differ, depending on the personal characteristics of individuals. In successive sections, the report (1) reviews the conceptual model of attrition that guides the empirical work and specifies the hypotheses that are tested with the data; (2) discusses the data available for modeling attrition, and the methods of analysis; (3) describes the variation in length of service among prior-service enlistees as a function of selected characteristics; and (4) presents results from a multivariate analysis of attrition. The study suggests that the rate of military pay can significantly affect the length of service of prior-service personnel. However, demographic characteristics have a much larger influence on attrition than economic factors; targeted recruiting may be more effective in retaining personnel for longer terms than changing compensation policies.

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