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Employee Retention and Psychological Health: Evidence from Military Recruits

By Jesse M. Cunha, Jeremy Arkes, Paul Lester and Yu-Chu Shen


We estimate the relationship between psychological attributes of U.S. Army recruits soon after enlistment and their propensity to leave service. We find that those with the worst psychological health are more likely to terminate employment, and we show how identifying psychologically unfit candidates prior to their employment can reduce the likelihood of future turnover and associated personnel costs. These findings have broad application to other stressful occupations such as firefighters, policemen, and first-responders.This work was supported by the U.S. Department of the Army under Contract number R8FVT

Topics: retention, psychological health, attrition, military, recruiting
Year: 2014
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