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Bidding for Army Career Specialties: Improving the ROTC Branching Mechanism

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  • Tayfun Sönmez

Abstract

Motivated by the low retention rates of US Military Academy and Reserve Officer Training Corps graduates, the Army recently introduced incentives programs in which cadets could bid 3 years of additional service obligation to obtain higher priority for their desired branches. The full potential of this incentives program is not utilized because of the ROTC's deficient matching mechanism. I propose a design that eliminates these shortcomings and mitigates several policy problems the Army has identified. In contrast to the ROTC mechanism, my design utilizes market principles more extensively, and it is a hybrid between a market mechanism and a priority-based allocation mechanism.

Suggested Citation

  • Tayfun Sönmez, 2013. "Bidding for Army Career Specialties: Improving the ROTC Branching Mechanism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(1), pages 186-219.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/669915
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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