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The effect of gender and race differentials on public-private wage comparisons: A study of postal workers


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  • Martin Asher
  • Joel Popkin
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    This study argues that the aggregative specifications often used to examine wage differentials fail to control for important demographic variations in wage patterns. In testing how postal wages compare to wages in the private sector, the authors therefore introduce interaction terms to control for gender and race differentials by industry. Their analysis of data from the May 1979 Current Population Survey indicates that average wages are higher in the Postal Service than in many private sector industries because the Postal Service pays nonwhites and women wages similar to those it pays comparable white men, whereas gender and race differentials are common in the private sector. The findings also indicate that the postal wage for white men is about the same as the average wage paid to comparable white men in other sectors of the economy, a relationship that the authors argue should be the key criterion for wage comparability in any public agency that follows a nondiscriminatory wage policy. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 38 (1984)
    Issue (Month): 1 (October)
    Pages: 16-25

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:38:y:1984:i:1:p:16-25

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    Cited by:
    1. Dale Belman & John S. Heywood, 2004. "Public wage differentials and the treatment of occupational differences," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 135-152.
    2. repec:fth:prinin:225 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Alan B. Krueger, 1988. "Are Public Sector Workers Paid More Than Their Alternative Wage? Evidence From Longitudinal Data and Job Queues," NBER Working Papers 2500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Cheryl C. Asher & Martin A. Asher, 1990. "The Wage Rate Effects of Occupational Labor Market Tightness," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 21-32, Jan-Mar.


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