Married to the Military

Married to the Military: The Employment and Earnings of Military Wives Compared with Those of Civilian Wives

James Hosek
Beth Asch
C. Christine Fair
Craig Martin
Michael Mattock
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 154
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mr1565osd
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  • Book Info
    Married to the Military
    Book Description:

    Focusing on military wives' contribution to family income, the authors find that, in contrast to civilian wives, military wives are willing to accept lower wages rather than search longer for jobs. They work less than civilian wives if they have young children but more if their children are older; are less probable to work as they get older; and respond to changes in the unemployment rate as workers with a permanent attachment to the work force, not as "added workers."

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3400-7
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science, Management & Organizational Behavior

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. FIGURES
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. TABLES
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. SUMMARY
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. ACRONYMS
    (pp. xix-xx)
  9. Chapter One INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-8)

    The experience of military spouses has been the subject of increasing attention among researchers, policymakers, and those in the media. This attention stems from concern about the quality of life of military families and the implications of declining quality for military retention and readiness. Harrell (2001), for example, conducted extensive field interviews to document the stressful financial and sociological issues faced by Army junior enlisted wives. Our analysis complements such ethnographic studies. We provide quantitative information on the labor market outcomes of military wives, relying on a random, representative sample to do so. We are concerned with the extent to...

  10. Chapter Two THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS
    (pp. 9-20)

    This chapter describes the conceptual framework employed in this analysis. A number of approaches have been used to analyze family labor supply decisions (Killingsworth, 1983). We adopt the more traditional approach, which views marriage partners as behaving as a single unit and making joint decisions. This more common approach draws from Becker’s theory of the allocation of time and his bookA Treatise on the Family(1981). It also draws from his human capital framework (Becker, 1964).

    An alternative approach would view the marriage partners as separate decisionmakers who bargain over scarce family resources (Manser and Brown, 1979; McElroy and...

  11. Chapter Three DATA, METHODOLOGY, AND EMPIRICAL HYPOTHESES
    (pp. 21-30)

    The data were drawn from the 1988–2000 Current Population Survey March Supplement. The March Supplement contains information on labor market outcomes in the previous calendar year, i.e., for years 1987–1999. We extracted samples of husband-and-wife families, identifying whether or not the husband was in the military. We refer to the sample of husband-and-wife families where the husband was in the military as the military sample, and we refer to the sample where the husband was not in the military as the civilian sample.

    The CPS is designed to be representative of the national population. For our research, however,...

  12. Chapter Four DESCRIPTIVE RESULTS
    (pp. 31-44)

    Our descriptive findings provide an overview of differences in family earnings, wives’ earnings, and wives’ labor force participation intensity. The regression analysis in the next chapter permits relationships to be examined under controlled conditions and identifies the role of particular variables. This chapter identifies significant differences in wives’ earnings between civilian and military families and identifies major sources for this variation.

    The figures and tabulations below are based on the re-weighted samples, which are representative of the male active-duty population.¹

    Earnings include wage and salary earnings plus other labor-related earnings (such as from occasional work). Wage and salary earnings account...

  13. Chapter Five REGRESSION RESULTS
    (pp. 45-78)

    This chapter discusses our regression results for each of the labor supply measures and for weekly wage and hourly wage. We are initially interested in identifying the overall difference in outcomes among civilian and military wives. Consequently, the discussion begins with predictions of labor supply outcomes and weekly wages for military wives and similar civilian wives. We then concentrate on the effects of specific explanatory variables. The first set of variables pertains to the age-earnings profiles of military versus civilian wives. The next sets pertain to the effects of migration and of children on labor outcomes. Finally, we discuss the...

  14. Chapter Six CONCLUSION
    (pp. 79-86)

    We began our analysis of military wives with an outlook shaped by recent studies on military wives. Harrell’s (2000) ethnographic analysis described how young Army wives coped with financial stress, geographical isolation, social isolation, and separation of the wife’s private life from her husband’s professional life. She found impressionable women who along with their husbands were trying to find their way, and who were making their share of mistakes. These young families had trouble living within their means, avoiding indebtedness, and trying to get out of debt. Although her study could claim validity based on a large number of first-person...

  15. Appendix A DATA SOURCES
    (pp. 87-90)
  16. Appendix B SUMMARY STATISTICS AND REGRESSION COEFFICIENTS
    (pp. 91-128)
  17. Appendix C PRESENCE OF CHILDREN UNDER AGE 6 AMONG FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
    (pp. 129-130)
  18. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 131-134)