The Effects of Job Relocation on Spousal Careers: Evidence from Military Change of Station Moves

17 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2018

See all articles by Jeremy Burke

Jeremy Burke

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

Amalia R. Miller

University of Virginia - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

We investigate the impact of military job relocation on spousal earnings and employment by creating a unique longitudinal database that tracks over 900,000 military spouses over the period 2001–2012, based on data from two administrative sources—military records on personnel and their dependents, and Social Security earnings records. This database allows us to estimate the effects of military change of station moves controlling for some key observable characteristics of the service‐member and household and controlling for individual spouse fixed effects. We find that military moves cause a substantial decline in spousal earnings in the year of the move, on the order of $2,100, or 14% of average spousal earnings. Moves also increase the likelihood that the spouse has no earnings for the year. We find larger earnings reductions for moves that cross state lines, and for older spouses, male spouses, and those with young children. The career costs persist over time and spouses continue to experience significantly lower earnings 2 years after the move. This persistence, combined with the typical military member experiencing a change of station move every 2 or 3 years, may substantially limit the ability of military spouses to accumulate human capital over time.

JEL Classification: H56, R23, J45, J16, J64

Suggested Citation

Burke, Jeremy and Miller, Amalia R., The Effects of Job Relocation on Spousal Careers: Evidence from Military Change of Station Moves (April 2018). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 56, Issue 2, pp. 1261-1277, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3127897 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12529

Jeremy Burke (Contact Author)

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

Amalia R. Miller

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
United States

HOME PAGE: http://people.virginia.edu/~am5by/

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