Faculty Colloquium: Robert Walker

Please join us on Friday, November 9th, at 3 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our sixth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Robert Walker, Associate Professor of Quantitative Methods

Title: The Educational and Career Impacts of Federal Hiring Preferences for VeteransRobert Walker

Reflecting joint work with Tim Johnson, Grace and Elmer Goudy Professor of Public Management and Policy Analysis at AGSM and Director of the Center for Governance and Public Policy Research, I will talk about two related papers that exploit the entire population of federal employees [47 million person-years] in the Central Personnel Data File obtained under FOIA to explore the impact of US federal hiring preferences for veterans. Researchers have assessed (a) whether military veterans advance in their federal careers at a different rate than nonveterans and (b) whether veterans and nonveterans differ in their educational attainment using either small samples (one percent-samples) or differing definitions of comparable veterans and non-veterans for comparison. Not surprisingly, this research has produced mixed results. With the full population of employee-years and the ability to, as comprehensively as possible define comparison sets, we examine a variety of definitions of comparable veterans and nonveterans to show that there is no causal relation between veterans preference and career trajectories or educational attainment. Our data analysis also highlights the set of confounding factors that have misled previous researchers into finding negative impacts associated with veterans preference.

Note: there will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all three schools. This is the second TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-University gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Bill Kelm and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators