DISTANCE TO PROMOTION: EVIDENCE FROM MILITARY GRADUATE EDUCATION
Marigee Bacolod and
Contemporary Economic Policy, 2018, vol. 36, issue 4, 667-677
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 I20, I23)
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