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An analysis of workers' choice between employment in the public and private sectors

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  • Rebecca M. Blank

Abstract

This paper estimates the extent to which workers with different personal characteristics are likely to be employed in the public versus the private sector. The author develops a reduced-form two-way probit model to analyze workers' choice between the two employment sectors, together with a three-way model that breaks this decision down to a choice among private, federal, and state and local government jobs. She estimates these models using May 1979 CPS data. The results show that, other things equal, government employment is preferred by the "protected" groups of veterans, nonwhites, and women. In addition, highly educated and more experienced workers are more likely to choose the public sector. Significant differences are found within the public sector between federal and state-local choices. The results also indicate that sectoral choice is influenced by more than wage comparisons. (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 (1985)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
Pages: 211-224

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:38:y:1985:i:2:p:211-224

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Cited by:
  1. Pfeifer, Christian, 2008. "Risk Aversion and Sorting into Public Sector Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 3503, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Rebecca M. Blank, 1993. "Public Sector Growth and Labor Market Flexibility: The United States vs. The United Kingdom," NBER Working Papers 4339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Budria, Santiago, 2006. "Schooling and the distribution of wages in the european private and public sectors," MPRA Paper 90, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Rebecca M. Blank, 1987. "Why are Wages Cyclical in the 1970's?," NBER Working Papers 2396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Vincenzo Scoppa, 2009. "Intergenerational transfers of public sector jobs: a shred of evidence on nepotism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 167-188, October.
  6. Michael Greene & Emily Hoffnar, 1994. "The effect of public sector employment on the earnings of white and African American males: A sample selectivity approach," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 113-120, December.
  7. George J. Borjas, 2002. "The Wage Structure and the Sorting of Workers into the Public Sector," NBER Working Papers 9313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. repec:fth:prinin:224 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Afonso, António & Gomes, Pedro, 2014. "Interactions between private and public sector wages," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 97-112.
  10. Hoffnar, Emily & Greene, Michael, 1996. "Gender discrimination in the public and private sectors: A sample selectivity approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 105-114.
  11. Christofides, Louis N. & Pashardes, Panos, 2002. "Self/paid-employment, public/private sector selection, and wage differentials," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(6), pages 737-762, December.
  12. Juan Prieto Rodríguez & María José Suárez Fernández, 2006. "Like father like son? Intergenerational links within occupations and public employment," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 178(3), pages 81-111, September.

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