The Swiss Armed Forces are suffering from a structural deficit of militia officers despite good pay and a general supportive attitude in the population. Whereas, prior studies have focused on motivation to explain understaffing in armed forces, we offer an alternative approach based on opportunity cost. We model decision alternatives both within and outside a military organization, taking private sector employment as the reference point. We then monetize opportunity costs of leisure, fringe benefits, and private sector income not compensated. Our results suggest that in terms of opportunity cost, service as a militia officer is the least attractive option, an effect that we believe explains the persistent staff deficit. Implications of these findings for the literature and recruitment policy are discussed.
Source : Taylor & Francis Online