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Women's Work after War

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  • Meredith A. Kleykamp

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    (University of Maryland)

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    Abstract

    In the more than 30 years following the all-volunteer force (AVF), the proportion of women serving in the military has increased from 1.8 percent just before the AVF to 14.2 percent in 2008. The majority of women do not stay in the military for a 20-year or longer career; like men, most women only serve a few years before transitioning to the civilian workforce. Although the fraction of the military who are women has risen, as has the fraction of veterans who are women, little research informs how female veterans of the AVF fare economically after leaving service, or whether military service benefits minority women who serve in such disproportionate numbers. This paper investigates the civilian employment experiences of female veterans of the AVF using two sources of data. First, population-based data from the American Community Survey are used to evaluate the employment experiences of female veterans. Second, data from an audit study of civilian hiring practices provides additional insight into the experiences of women veterans transitioning from military to civilian work. We find little evidence of a veteran labor market disadvantage, either for white or black women. Both groups exhibit strong patterns of labor force attachment. Only white women show slightly lower rates of employment (among those in the labor force), while black women veterans show consistently advantageous employment profiles. These positive employment outcomes among female veterans at least partly derive from employer preference for hiring veterans over equally qualified nonveteran women.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 10-169.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:10-169

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    Keywords: Field Experiments; Veterans; Discrimination; Hiring; Employment;

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    1. Mehay, S.L. & Hirsch, B.T., 1993. "The Post-Military Earnings of Female Veterans," Working Papers 1993_09_02, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    2. John Bound & Sarah Turner, 2002. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 784-815, October.
    3. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," NBER Working Papers 9938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Matthew S. Goldberg & John T. Warner, 1987. "Military Experience, Civilian Experience, and the Earnings of Veterans," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(1), pages 61-81.
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