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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Earnings of Military Reservists

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Earnings of Military Reservists

David S. Loughran
Paul Heaton
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 62
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  • Book Info
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Earnings of Military Reservists
    Book Description:

    An investigation of the effects of having symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the labor market earnings of reservists in the years following deployment.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8272-5
    Subjects: Law, Psychology, Technology, Business

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figure and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Between 2001 and 2007, roughly 1.2 million members of the active component of the U.S. military and 455,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and exposed to the physical and mental stress of daily life in a combat zone in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) (CRS, 2008). Several recent studies indicate that a substantial fraction of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer lasting psychological injury (Hoge, Auchterlonie, and Milliken, 2006; Hoge et al., 2004). Although psychological injury can take many forms, concern among policymakers and the...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Estimating the Relationship Between PTSD and Earnings
    (pp. 5-10)

    Consider the following econometric model of annual labor market earnings (civilian earnings plus military earnings) of reservistiin periodt,${Y_{it}}$:

    ${Y_{it}} = \beta PTS{D_{it}} + {X_{it}}\delta + {\mu _i} + {\varepsilon _{it}}$,

    where$PTS{D_{it}}$indicates whether reservistiis symptomatic of PTSD at the conclusion of a deployment prior to timet, and${X_{it}}$represents a set of covariates. We hypothesize that the error term in this specification is composed of an individual-level component,${\mu _i}$, and an idiosyncratic element,${\varepsilon _i};$

    $\hat \beta $measures the estimated effect of PTSD symptoms on labor market earnings from both civilian and military sources. As would be expected, civilian labor market earnings constitute a substantially...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Data Sources
    (pp. 11-14)

    As noted earlier, our data on PTSD are drawn from the PDHA, which, since April 2003, DoD has required virtually all service members to complete within five days of the end of deployment.¹ The purpose of the PDHA is to screen returning service members for possible health issues and to prescribe follow-up care as necessary. Completed PDHAs are reviewed by a credentialed health care provider in the presence of the service member. The post-deployment PDHA questionnaire is reproduced in Appendix A.

    Although we did not directly observe medical diagnoses of PTSD, which can require extensive evaluations, the PDHA includes the...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR How Do Reservists Symptomatic of PTSD Compare with the Overall Sample Population?
    (pp. 15-18)

    Table 4.1 presents summary statistics describing the average pre- and post-deployment characteristics of our overall sample, along with separate averages for service members symptomatic of PTSD and serving in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan—deployment locations in which reservists are at an elevated risk of combat.¹ Among reservists returning from deployments between June 2003 and December 2006, 8.6 percent are symptomatic of PTSD, with those deployed to Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan having appreciably higher percentages than those deployed to other areas (11.5 percent versus 2.1 percent). Overall, 11 percent of all reservists reported firing their weapon while deployed, but the incidence...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE The Effects of Being Symptomatic of PTSD on Earnings in the Year Following Deployment
    (pp. 19-26)

    This chapter presents our regression estimates in four sections. We begin with estimates derived from the cross-sectional specification represented by Equation 2.1, showing how the estimated effect on annual earnings of being symptomatic of PTSD varies as we expand the covariates included in the vectorXit. We then report first-differenced estimates (Equations 2.2 and 2.3) and first-differenced estimates in which we instrument for being symptomatic of PTSD. Finally, we present the results of a number of robustness checks.

    Table 5.1 presents cross-sectional regression estimates of the effect of being symptomatic of PTSD on post-deployment earnings in the year following deployment....

  13. CHAPTER SIX Longer-Run Effects on Earnings of Being Symptomatic of PTSD
    (pp. 27-30)

    Our discussion so far has focused on the effects of being symptomatic of PTSD on earnings in the year immediately following deployment. Although these effects appear relatively modest, it is possible that labor market effects of being symptomatic of PTSD are not fully manifest until many years following the traumatic experience. For some subset of the reservist population, PTSD symptoms may worsen over time, leading to greater impairment and potentially larger earnings effects. Moreover, small disruptions to labor market activity immediately following deployment may become magnified over time if experience or skills acquired in prior periods affect opportunities for skill...

  14. CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusions
    (pp. 31-32)

    This report presents the first population-based estimates of the effect of being symptomatic of PTSD on earnings and employment among U.S. reservists completing deployment since September 11, 2001. These estimates indicate that reservists symptomatic of PTSD immediately following deployment earn 5 percent less than reservists without such symptoms, after accounting for demographic differences across the two groups. However, this correlation diminishes when we estimate first-differenced and IV models, which are likely to provide superior controls for endogeneity and unobserved heterogeneity. First-differenced models imply that being symptomatic of PTSD lowers the earnings of reservists in the first year following deployment by...

  15. Appendix A Post-Deployment Health Assessment
    (pp. 33-38)
  16. Appendix B Pre-Deployment Health Assessment
    (pp. 39-42)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 43-46)