Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2015:7: The making of a manager: evidence from military officer training

Erik Grönqvist () and Erik Lindqvist ()
Additional contact information
Erik Grönqvist: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Erik Lindqvist: Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We show that officer training during the Swedish military service has a strong positive effect on the probability to attain a managerial position later in life. The most intense type of officer training increases the probability of becoming a civilian manager by about 5 percentage points, or 75 percent. Officer training also increases educational attainment post-military service. We argue that the effect on civilian leadership could be due to acquisition of leadership specific skills during the military service, and present suggestive evidence related to alternative mechanisms, such as signalling, networks, and training unrelated to leadership.

Keywords: Leadership; management; CEOs; non-cognitive skills; regression-discontinuity; program evaluation; conscription; military service; military officers; military leadership

JEL-codes: I20; J24; J31; M51

86 pages, April 22, 2015

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