As the U.S. population ages, so will the population of licensed drivers. Policymakers are concerned that this will lead to increases in traffic accidents and, consequently, injury to property and person. Although the capacity to safely operate a motor vehicle decreases at older ages, at least some older individuals voluntarily limit their driving when they perceive that their ability to drive has diminished. Do the elderly self-regulate enough that their overall negative impact on traffic safety is no more than that of other drivers? The research reported in this volume estimates how the probability of causing an automobile accident varies with age. Findings include that older drivers are somewhat more likely than middle-aged ones to cause an accident, but the bigger issue may be that they are much more likely to be injured or killed if they are in an accident, regardless of fault.
The 2001 National Energy Policy calls for continued reductions in energy intensity (energy consumption per dollar of gross economic output). This study was part of an effort to identify state-level factors that may contribute to efficient energy use nationwide. The authors examined changes in energy intensity in 48 states and in the states' energy-consuming sectors from 1977 through 1999. Some factors that may explain differences in states' energy intensity are energy prices, new construction, capacity utilization, population, climate, tech innovations, and government energy policies.
Although polls of Hispanic youth show a strong propensity to serve in the military, Hispanics are nonetheless underrepresented among military recruits. The authors discuss the major characteristics that disproportionately disqualify Hispanic youth and explore actions that could be taken to increase Hispanic enlistments.
Assessing alternative mixes of active and reserve forces is a crucial defense issue. Force structure decisions are made in an inherently uncertain environment: Force requirements can vary unpredictably, sometimes surging dramatically, depending on the types of conflicts that arise. The RAND SLAM program is a software application designed to aid military analysts in exploring the inherent trade-offs between cost, stress, and risk in force structure decisions. Its unique feature is that it models force requirements stochastically, allowing for analysis of requirements that change unpredictably over time. This report serves as a user's guide, explaining the program's features and interface and guiding the user through example analyses. Several of these example analyses examine some of the same force structure decisions as those analyzed with spreadsheet techniques by Lynn E. Davis et al. in Stretched Thin: Army Forces for Sustained Operations, thus validating the RAND SLAM results against this previous work. The authors also discuss the underlying model for the program, including its strengths and limitations and how it might be expanded and improved.
Police officers, firefighters, and other public safety workers face exceptionally high rates of injury and fatality relative to the general workforce. This document provides an analysis of the risk factors associated with different aspects of public safety occupations, to help policymakers in their efforts to improve the health and safety of these employees.
Between 2000 and 2011, younger veterans were more likely to be unemployed than younger non-veterans. This difference falls rapidly with age and time. The evidence supports the hypothesis that veteran unemployment reflects engagement in job search. There is little evidence that veterans are disadvantaged in the labor market. Limiting benefits to veterans might reduce the length of unemployment spells, but the budgetary effect is unclear.
More intensive use of the reserve components in national defense in recent years has resulted in greater attention being paid to the adequacy and efficiency of the reserve compensation system. Four bills are pending in Congress to reduce the age when reservists can begin to receive retirement benefits. One would allow reservists to begin receiving retirement pay immediately upon completing 20 years of creditable service, with the last six years as a member of a reserve component. Two related proposals would lower the retirement annuity age to 55. Another would set the retirement age on a sliding scale that depended on years of service (YOS); those with more YOS can retire earlier, as early as age 54. This report provides input regarding these proposals and the broader issues surrounding reserve retirement reform. The authors found that the per-capita cost of the current retirement system is dramatically less than the per-capita cost under the immediate annuity and age-55 proposals. The per-capita cost of the sliding-age alternative is the least expensive of the three alternatives, reflecting the low prevalence of new retirees below age 60 with sufficient YOS to qualify for retirement at ages below 60. Although it is important to recognize that deferring some portion of compensation can be cost-effective, the results argue in favor of providing compensation on a current basis rather than on a deferred basis.