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Public and private sector wages interactions in a general equilibrium model

Author

Listed:
  • Gonzalo Fernández-de-Córdoba
  • Javier Pérez
  • José Torres

Abstract

This paper develops a dynamic general equilibrium model in which the public and the private sector interact in the labor market. Previous studies that analyze the labor market effects of public sector employment and wages have mostly assumed exogenous rules for public wage and public employment. We show that theories that equalize wages with marginal products in the private sector can rationalize the interaction of public and private sector wages when extended to accommodate a non-trivial government sector/public sector union that endogenously determines public employment and wages. Our model suggests a positive correlation between public and private sector wages. Any increase in tax revenues, coupled with the existence of a positive public-private sector wage gap, makes working in the public sector an attractive option. Thus, a positive neutral productivity shock increases public and private sector wages. More interestingly, even a private-sector specific productivity shock spills-over to the public sector, increasing public wages. These facts lend some support to the wage leading role of the private sector. Nevertheless, at the same time, a positive shock to public sector wages would lead to an increase in private sector wages, via the flow of workers from the private to the public sector.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gonzalo Fernández-de-Córdoba & Javier Pérez & José Torres, 2012. "Public and private sector wages interactions in a general equilibrium model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 309-326, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:150:y:2012:i:1:p:309-326
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-010-9705-7
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public wages; Public employment; Labor market; Trade unions; J30; J45; J51; J52; E62; H50;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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