The Public Pay Gap in Britain: Small Differences That (Don't?) Matter
AbstractThe existing literature on inequality between private and public sectors focuses on cross-section differences in earnings levels. A more general way of looking at inequality between sectors is to recognize that forward-looking agents will care about income and job mobility too. We show that these are substantially different between the two sectors. Using data from the BHPS, we estimate a model of income and employment dynamics over seven years. We allow for unobserved heterogeneity in the propensity to be unemployed or employed in either job sector and in terms of the income process. We then combine the results into lifetime values of jobs in either sector and carry out a cross-section comparative analysis of these values. We have four main findings. First focusing on cross-sector differences in terms of the income process only, we detect a positive average public premium both in income flows and in the present discounted sum of future income flows. Second, most of the observed relative income compression in the public sector is due to a lower variance of the transitory component of income. Third, when taking job mobility into account, the lifetime public premium is essentially zero for workers that we categorize as "high-employability" individuals, suggesting that the UK labor market is sufficiently mobile to ensure a rapid allocation of workers into their "natural" sector. Fourth, we find some evidence of job queuing for public sector jobs among "low-employability" workers.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1637.
Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal, 2007, 117 (523), 1460-1503
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Other versions of this item:
- Fabien Postel-Vinay & Hélène Turon, 2007. "The Public Pay Gap in Britain: Small Differences That (Don't?) Matter," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1460-1503, October.
- Fabien Postel-Vinay & Hélène Turon, 2005. "The Public Pay Gap in Britain: Small Differences That (Don't?) Matter," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590765, HAL.
- Helene Turon & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2005. "The Public Pay Gap in Britain: Small Differences that (Don't?) Matter," 2005 Meeting Papers 92, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Turon, Hélène, 2005. "The Public Pay Gap in Britain: Small Differences That (Don’t?) Matter," CEPR Discussion Papers 5296, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Fabien Postel-Vinay & Hélène Turon, 2005. "The Public Pay Gap in Britain: Small Differences That (Don't?) Matter," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/121, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
- J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-07-03 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Parker, Jonathan A, 2000.
"Consumption Over the Life-Cycle,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2345, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Clark, Andrew E. & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2005.
"Job Security and Job Protection,"
IZA Discussion Papers
1489, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Andrew Clark & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2005. "Job security and job protection," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19904, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Clark, Andrew E & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2005. "Job Security and Job Protection," CEPR Discussion Papers 4927, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Andrew Clark & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2005. "Job Security and Job Protection," CEP Discussion Papers dp0678, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Andrew E. Clark & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2004. "Job security and job protection," DELTA Working Papers 2004-16, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Stewart, Mark, 2006.
"The Inter-related Dynamics of Unemployment and Low-Wage Employment,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
741, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Mark B. Stewart, 2007. "The interrelated dynamics of unemployment and low-wage employment," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 511-531.
- Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1998.
"Consumption Inequality And Income Uncertainty,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 603-640, May.
- Audra J. Bowlus & Jean-Marc Robin, 2004.
"Twenty Years of Rising Inequality in U.S. Lifetime Labour Income Values,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71, pages 709-742, 07.
- Audra J. Bowlus & Jean-Marc Robin, 2004. "Twenty Years of Rising Inequality in U.S. Lifetime Labour Income Values," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 709-742.
- Audra J, Bowlus & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Twenty Years of Rising Inequality in US Lifetime Labor Income Values," Working Papers 2002-58, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
- Richard Disney & Amanda Gosling, 1998. "Does it pay to work in the public sector?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 347-374, November.
- Flinn, Christopher J, 2002.
"Labour Market Structure and Inequality: A Comparison of Italy and the U.S,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 611-45, July.
- Christopher J. Flinn, 2002. "Labour Market Structure and Inequality: A Comparison of Italy and the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 611-645.
- Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 1999.
"Intertemporal Choice and Consumption Mobility,"
CSEF Working Papers
23, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
- Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2000. "Intertemporal Choice and Consumption Mobility," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0118, Econometric Society.
- Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2005. "Intertemporal choice and consumption mobility," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/28, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2004. "Intertemporal choice and consumption mobility," 2004 Meeting Papers 195, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
- Arcidiacono, Peter & Jones, John B., 2000.
"Finite Mixture Distribution, Sequential Likelihood, and the EM Algorithm,"
00-16, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- Peter Arcidiacono & John Bailey Jones, 2003. "Finite Mixture Distributions, Sequential Likelihood and the EM Algorithm," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 933-946, 05.
- Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995.
"The career decisions of young men,"
559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1991.
"Changes in the Structure of Wages in the Public and Private Sectors,"
NBER Working Papers
3667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1991. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the Public and Private Sectors," Working Papers 662, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Katz, L.F. & Krueger, A.B., 1991. "Chances In The Structure Of Wages In The Public And Private Sectors," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1547, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- 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.
- Dustmann, C. & van Soest, A., 1997.
"Public and Private Sector Wages of Male Workers in Germany,"
Economics Working Papers
eco97/13, European University Institute.
- Dustmann, Christian & van Soest, Arthur, 1998. "Public and private sector wages of male workers in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1417-1441, September.
- Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "A Reexamination of the Federal-Private Wage Differential in the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 270-93, April.
- James M. Poterba & Kim S. Rueben, 1994. "The Distribution of Public Sector Wage Premia: New Evidence Using Quantile Regression Methods," NBER Working Papers 4734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2002. "The Consequences of The Decline in Public Sector Pay in Britain: A Little Bit of Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages F107-F118, February.
- van Ophem, Hans, 1993. "A Modified Switching Regression Model for Earnings Differentials between the Public and Private Sectors in the Netherlands," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 215-24, May.
- Moshe Buchinsky & Jennifer Hunt, 1996.
"Wage Mobility in the United States,"
NBER Working Papers
5455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Disney, Richard F & Gosling, Amanda, 2003. "A New Method for Estimating Public Sector Pay Premia: Evidence from Britain in the 1990's," CEPR Discussion Papers 3787, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Cappellari, Lorenzo, 2002. "Earnings dynamics and uncertainty in Italy: how do they differ between the private and public sectors?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 477-496, September.
- 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.
- Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
- Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
- Bender, Keith A, 1998. " The Central Government-Private Sector Wage Differential," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 177-220, April.
- repec:fth:prinin:282 is not listed on IDEAS
- Shorrocks, A F, 1976. "Income Mobility and the Markov Assumption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(343), pages 566-78, September.
- Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2004.
"Consumption inequality and partial insurance,"
IFS Working Papers
W04/28, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.