Three Essays on the Employment of Veterans
Ayan, Davut Emrah
University of Kansas
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This dissertation consists of three chapters; each chapter is organized as a separate essay. All three essays focus on the effect of the military service on the civilian labor market performance of veterans. Chapter 1 examines the unemployment impact of prior military service on the veterans. In order to control for non-random selection into the military, chapter introduces new set of instrumental variables exploiting the variation in economic and military characteristics of the states when young people make their enlistment decisions. Using Integrated Public Use Microdata Series from the American Community Survey (ACS) from 2008 to 2014, I find that among those in the civilian non-institutional labor force, veterans are equally likely to be unemployed as comparable non-veterans once they are in the labor force. In 2011, the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act was established to improve the employment outcomes of veterans. Using data from the Current Population Survey from 2010 to 2013, Chapter 2 provides evidence on the impact of the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011 (VOW) on labor market performance of veterans. The effect of the legislation was evaluated on five outcomes; labor force participation, unemployment, employment, weekly hours of work and weekly earnings. These effects are analyzed separately in gender and disability subsamples. The identification of the impact of the VOW Act relies on comparing the change in outcomes between veterans and non-veterans in subsamples. Differences-in-Differences estimates suggest that veterans without disability increase their labor force participation by around 4 percentage points after the VOW Act was put into effect. Also, this increase in labor force participation among male veterans without disability lead to higher chances of employment by about 3 percentage points. Female veterans with disability have the highest increase in employment by about 17 percentage points. As for unemployment, veterans with disability lower their chances of unemployment by more than 10 percentage points. Higher chances of employment lead to an increase in the weekly hours of work among veterans with disability. Finally, I find that employment gain from the legislation does not lead to an increase in the weekly earnings. Representation of women in the U.S. military has increased gradually with the beginning of the voluntary era. However, related literature lacks empirical research on the potential gender differential effects of the military service. This paper intends to explore and show evidence whether the impact of the recent period of service including overseas combat or war zone experience, service-related disability status and presence of young children at home affect the post-service labor market performance of female veterans. Labor market success is measured by four outcomes: labor force participation, employment, unemployment and usual weekly hours of work. Using data from the Veteran Supplement to the CPS from 2007 to 2013, I estimate labor force participation, unemployment and employment by probit models and hours of work by OLS. I find that females are less likely to participate in the labor force and less likely to be employed and work less than male veterans. Combat zone experience, presence of a young child at home, being married to a spouse in the armed forces affect female veterans adversely as compared to male veterans.
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- Economics Dissertations and Theses 
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