More than 1,000,000 service members have been deployed away from their families in the first five years since the start of the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan and Iraq. Although deployments disrupt the contribution of service members to household production, little evidence exists about the effect of deployments on spouses. This dissertation examines the effect of deployment on spousal labor force participation and household well-being. The author finds that deployment reduces spousal labor force participation by 2.8 to 4.9 percentage points, depending on the age of the youngest child in the family. Spouses decrease their labor force participation several months before service members are actually deployed and return to the labor force several months after service members return from deployment. Those spouses who have a high taste for a career and perceive that military life may impose constraints on their job opportunities encourage service members to leave the military.
Table of Contents
Background for Examining Deployment Effects
Theoretical Effects of Deployments
Data and Measures
Effect of Deployments on Spousal Labor Force Participation
Deployment and Retention
Household Utility Model without Home Production