Improving the Labor Market Outcomes of US Veterans: The Long-Run Effect of the Transition Assistance Program

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The success of military recruiting depends largely on the potential consequences of military services. This study examines how military service affects labor market outcomes of veterans. Specifically, I focus on how the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), a career assistance program, help military personnel transition to the civilian labor market. To identify the effects of TAP, I exploit variation in program accessibility generated by its initial rollout process. Using data from the Current Population Survey, I find that TAP improves the labor market outcomes of veterans, measured approximately ten years after separation. Specifically, it leads a significant increase in labor force participation. One possible mechanism is that TAP encourages the use of the GI Bill, a program that provides financial assistance to attend institutions of higher education.