To allow analyses of its personnel practices, the Department of Defense maintains historical administrative data files and administers surveys of military personnel. Military manpower analyses also make use of civilian cross-sectional and longitudinal data. Klerman provides an overview of these data sources and discusses how they can be analyzed with currently underutilized data-matching strategies. These data-matching strategies involve matching DoD administrative data files to (1) civilian administrative data (such as Social Security Administration earnings data); (2) DoD survey data; and (3) civilian survey data. These strategies have the potential for large payoffs in terms of better analysis-and therefore better policy-for DoD. Klerman also discusses the degree to which DoD should help fund a future National Longitudinal Study of Youth, and whether DoD should initiate a new military panel survey. Data for DoD Manpower Policy Analysis maintains that the research questions that these proposed surveys would help answer can instead be explored through data matching. Moreover, streamlining procedures for data matching-that is, making it easier for researchers to analyze the data DoD already has-is likely to be much less expensive than engaging in major new data-collection efforts.
The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.
This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.
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.