Returns to Skills and Personnel Management: U.S. Department of Defense Scientists and Engineers

16 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2006

See all articles by Michael Gibbs

Michael Gibbs

University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

Personnel records are used to examine compensation, recruitment, and retention of a group of highly skilled workers: civilian scientists and engineers in U.S. Department of Defense laboratories. In contrast to those of the private sector, returns to skills were largely flat for this group from 1982 to 1996. Despite this, quality and performance of recruits relative to earlier cohorts, and of those retained relative to those who left, remained stable. One explanation is the importance of defense industry-specific human capital. These results hold for three different pay plans, including the federal government's primary plan and two intended to introduce greater flexibility in personnel management.

Suggested Citation

Gibbs, Michael, Returns to Skills and Personnel Management: U.S. Department of Defense Scientists and Engineers. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 199-214, April 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=906375

Michael Gibbs (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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