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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  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. Vincenzo Scoppa, 2009. "Intergenerational transfers of public sector jobs: a shred of evidence on nepotism," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 167-188, October.
  5. Dennis Leyden & Albert Link, 2014. "Research Risk and Public Policy in a Knowledge-Based Economy: the Relative Research Efficiency of Government Versus University Labs," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 294-304, June.
  6. Christofides, Louis N. & Pashardes, Panos, 2002. "Self/paid-employment, public/private sector selection, and wage differentials," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 9(6), pages 737-762, December.
  7. Pfeifer, Christian, 2008. "Risk Aversion and Sorting into Public Sector Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 3503, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Köllő, János, 2013. "A közszféra bérszintje és a magánszektorból átlépők szelekciója 1997-2008 között
    [Public-sector pay and flows from the private to the public sector]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 523-554.
  9. Afonso, António & Gomes, Pedro Maia, 2010. "Interactions between Private and Public Sector Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 5322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 105-114.
  11. Blank, Rebecca M, 1990. "Why Are Wages Cyclical in the 1970s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 16-47, January.
  12. Molnár, György & Kapitány, Zsuzsa, 2013. "Munkahely a közszférában. Biztonság és hivatás, a szubjektív szempontok szerepe
    [Public sector employment. Security and social mission- the role of subjective aspects]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 781-813.
  13. 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, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 113-120, December.
  14. repec:fth:prinin:224 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Juan Prieto Rodríguez & María José Suárez Fernández, 2006. "Like father like son? Intergenerational links within occupations and public employment," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, IEF, vol. 178(3), pages 81-111, September.

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