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Why Federal Workers Don't Quit

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  • Richard A. Ippolito
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    Abstract

    Quit rates in the federal government are abnormally low. Some economists and the federal government itself have taken this to mean that federal wages are too high. This paper provides an alternative explanation. It shows that the timing of compensation across a career as well as its level affect quit rates. Pensions, in particular, impose large penalties on workers who quit early. And the portion of federal pay in the form of pensions is very high. This feature of the federal pay structure may explain its abnormally low quit rate. As a general proposition, quit rates are poor indices for judging pay adequacy.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 22 (1987)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 281-299

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:22:y:1987:i:2:p:281-299

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

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    Cited by:
    1. Ann A. McDermed & Robert L. Clark & Steven G. Allen, 1987. "Pension Wealth, Age-Wealth Profiles and the Distribution of Net Worth," NBER Working Papers 2439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alan B. Krueger, 1988. "Are Public Sector Workers Paid More Than Their Alternative Wage? Evidence from Longitudinal Data and Job Queues," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: When Public Sector Workers Unionize, pages 217-242 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ugo Panizza, 1999. "¿Por qué la gente floja gana más dinero? El extraño caso de la prima salarial del sector público," Research Department Publications, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department 4177, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. Ugo Panizza, 1999. "Why Do Lazy People Make More Money?: The Strange Case of the Public Sector Wage Premium," IDB Publications 6815, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Andrietti, Vincenzo & Hildebrand, Vincent, 2001. "Pension Portability and Labour Mobility in the United States. New Evidence from SIPP Data," IRISS Working Paper Series, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD 2001-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    6. 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.
    7. Dale-Olsen, Harald, 2006. "Wages, fringe benefits and worker turnover," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 87-105, February.
    8. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Ann A. McDermed, 1988. "Why Do Pensions Reduce Mobility?," NBER Working Papers 2509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Richard Disney & Carl Emmerson, 2002. "Choice of pension scheme and job mobility in Britain," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W02/09, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    10. repec:fth:prinin:225 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Robert L. Clark & Joseph F. Quinn, 1999. "Effects of Pensions on Labor Markets and Retirement," Boston College Working Papers in Economics, Boston College Department of Economics 431, Boston College Department of Economics.

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