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Public Sector Pay Gaps and Skill Levels: a Cross-Country Comparison

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  • Paolo Ghinetti
  • Claudio Lucifora

    ()
    (SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont)

Abstract

In this study, we investigate public-private pay determination using French, British and Italian micro data from the 2001 ECHP. We document that the distribution of wages is very different between public and private workers. As a result, the public pay premium varies as one moves up or down in the wage distribution. In France, Great Britain and Italy the public sector wage premium is higher for low skilled public sector workers, whilst the opposite happens for high skilled workers. These effects are more pronounced in the service sector. Additional results suggest that if a worker with certain characteristics was exogenously moved from the public to the private sector, he suffered a welfare (wage) loss, which is higher for the low skilled, who are the most protected in the public sector. In the light of the privatisation process of formerly public service, this process may in general impose some cost to involved public employees. Moreover, such costs are decreasing with the level of wages. Finally, the magnitude of these costs depend on the country considered, and, hence on the associated institutional setting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont in its series Working Papers with number 118.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:upo:upopwp:118

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Keywords: Wage differentials; Public sector; Quantile regression;

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  1. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2002. "Public employment and labour market performance," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 17(34), pages 7-66, 04.
  2. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2003. "Nominal wage rigidity and the rate of inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 762-781, October.
  3. Elliott, R. F. & Bender, K. A., . "Relative Earnings in the UK Public sector: The Impact of Pay Reform on Pay Structure," Working Papers 98-04, Department of Economics, University of Aberdeen.
  4. Lucifora, Claudio & Meurs, Dominique, 2004. "The Public Sector Pay Gap in France, Great Britain and Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 1041, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Blaise Melly, 2005. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Germany: Evidence from quantile regression," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 505-520, 09.
  6. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  7. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  8. Carlo Dell'Aringa & Claudio Lucifora & Federica Origo, 2007. "Public Sector Pay And Regional Competitiveness. A First Look At Regional Public-Private Wage Differentials In Italy," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 75(4), pages 445-478, 07.
  9. 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.
  10. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  11. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Tepe, Markus, 2010. "The effect of reciprocal motives, personality traits and wage differnences on public employee's job satisfaction," TranState Working Papers 131, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
  2. Dickson, Matt & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Turon, Hélène, 2014. "The Lifetime Earnings Premium in the Public Sector: The View from Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 8159, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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