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Wage Differentials among Older Workers in the Public and Private Sectors

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  • Joseph F. Quinn

Abstract

Wages in the public sector are often set on the basis of comparisons with compensation in the private sector. There are reasons to suspect that this approach may result in government pay schedules that exceed those in the private sector. In this paper, with a human capital model of wage determination and a sample of older male workers, we compare wages in federal, state, and local public administration with those in the private sector, after adjusting for differences in personal and geographic characteristics. We find that the wage gaps that do exist cannot be completely explained by human capital and locational variables. Fringe benefits, job stability, and the attractiveness of the job environment also appear to be greater in the public sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 14 (1979)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 41-62

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:14:y:1979:i:1:p:41-62

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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Cited by:
  1. Alan B. Krueger, 1988. "Are Public Sector Workers Paid More Than Their Alternative Wage? Evidence from Longitudinal Data and Job Queues," NBER Chapters, in: When Public Sector Workers Unionize, pages 217-242 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mueller, Richard E., 1998. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Canada: evidence from quantile regressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 229-235, August.
  3. Philipp Bewerunge & Harvey S. Rosen, 2012. "Wages, Pensions, and Public-Private Sector Compensation Differentials," Working Papers 1388, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  4. Steven F. Venti, 1985. "Wages in the Federal and Private Sectors," NBER Working Papers 1641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Chatterjee, Swarn & Zahirovic-Herbert, Velma, 2009. "Retirement Plan Participation in the United States: Do Public Sector Employees Save More?," MPRA Paper 13546, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Zweimuller, Jopsef & Winter- Ebmer, Rudolf, 1993. "Gender Wage Differentials in Private and Public Sector Jobs," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7ps0140j, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.

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