Distance to Promotion: Evidence from Military Graduate Education

11 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2018

See all articles by Marigee Bacolod

Marigee Bacolod

Naval Postgraduate School

Latika Chaudhary

Naval Postgraduate School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2018


Using a unique dataset of U.S. military officers enrolled in graduate programs at the Naval Postgraduate School, we find students enrolled in distance education programs are 19 percentage points less likely to graduate compared to students enrolled in comparable traditional resident programs. Interestingly, distance education students receive a larger proportion of As on their courses. But, they are also more likely to fail and withdraw from their courses compared to their resident counterparts. The negative effects of distance education are worse for students enrolled in more technical engineering programs compared to less technical business programs. Although distance students are more likely to separate from the military after completing their education compared to traditional students, there are no significant differences in job promotion within the military between the two groups. Our results highlight the challenges of designing effective distance education programs in technical fields.

JEL Classification: I20, I23

Suggested Citation

Bacolod, Marigee and Chaudhary, Latika, Distance to Promotion: Evidence from Military Graduate Education (October 2018). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 36, Issue 4, pp. 667-677, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3240825 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/coep.12275

Marigee Bacolod (Contact Author)

Naval Postgraduate School ( email )

555 Dyer Road
Monterey, CA 93943
United States

Latika Chaudhary

Naval Postgraduate School ( email )

1 University Circle
Monterey, CA 93043
United States

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