Training and Retention of Air Force Airmen

An Economic Analysis

by John McCall, N. Wallace

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The responsiveness of the reenlistment rate of Air Force electronic specialists to changes in Air Force remuneration and the degree to which Air Force training is transferable to the civilian economy are examined. For this sample of airmen, the reenlistment rate is very sensitive to differences between civilian and Air Force earnings opportunities. The results imply that if the initial reenlistment rate were 50 percent, and if Air Force remuneration were increased by $1,000 per year, then the reenlistment rate would rise to about 70 percent. The actual reenlistment rate for electronic specialists was 35 percent in 1962; the current reenlistment rate has declined to approximately 15 percent. The data indicate that a large percentage of electronic specialists use their Air Force training in the civilian economy, and that the advantage of using such training, measured in earning power, is significant.

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