Original Paper

Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 713-738

First online:

Racial harassment, job satisfaction, and intentions to remain in the military

  • Heather AntecolAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Claremont McKenna CollegeInstitute for the Study of Labor (IZA) Email author 
  • , Deborah Cobb-ClarkAffiliated withSocial Policy Evaluation, Analysis and Research Centre, Economics Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National UniversityInstitute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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Our results indicate that two thirds of active-duty military personnel report experiencing offensive racial behaviors in the previous 12 months, whereas approximately one in ten reports threatening racial incidents or career-related discrimination. Racial harassment significantly increases job dissatisfaction irrespective of the form of harassment considered. Furthermore, threatening racial incidents and career-related discrimination heighten intentions to leave the military. Finally, our results point to the importance of accounting for unobserved individual- and job-specific heterogeneity when assessing the consequences of racial harassment. In single-equation models, the estimated effects of racial harassment on both job dissatisfaction and intentions to leave the military are understated.


Job satisfaction Racial harassment Quits

JEL Classification

J16 J28