Enlistment Effects of the 2 + 2 + 4 Recruiting Experiment

by Richard Buddin

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This report describes the enlistment effects of the Army's 2+2+4 recruiting experiment, which was aimed at attracting high-quality personnel into the active Army and encouraging their later participation in the reserves. These effects were estimated through a job-offer experiment that estimated how the program affected the recruits' choices among skills and terms of service and through a geographic experiment that assessed whether the program led to a "market expansion" — i.e., an increase in the total number of high-quality persons entering the active Army. Overall, the program seems to have accomplished its objectives for active-duty recruiting. The 2+2+4 option sold readily and benefited virtually all the occupational specialties for which it was tested. During the test, about 7 percent of all male high-quality enlistments contracts were written under the program. Moreover, the analysis indicates that the program attracted high-quality recruits into the Army and caused only a small number to change from a longer term of service to a shorter one.

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