Graduation Year


Publication Date

Spring 4-2014

Embargo Period



The introduction of the National Longitudinal Survey of the Youth (NLSY) 1979 and 1997 cohorts made Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT) score data widely available and has thus dramatically increased its use in academic research. However, there is strong evidence that a wide variety of background factors, such as poverty status, race, and parent’s education level, affect AFQT score. Human capital theory, in conjunction with the pathways framework, suggests that these background factors have both direct and indirect effects on AFQT score. The focus of this research is measuring some of the important direct and indirect pathways through which background factors affect AFQT score. The purpose of measuring these pathways is to identify the effects that some background factors have on AFQT score, thus elucidating how AFQT score is determined by some background factors.


Economics | Labor Economics