IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Schooling and the distribution of wages in the European private and public sectors

International research has shown that schooling enhances within-groups wage dispersion. This assessment is typically based on private sector data and, up to date, the inequality implications of schooling have not been documented for the public sector. This article uses recent data from eight European countries to explicitly take into account differences between the private and public sectors. Using quantile regression, the article describes the effects of schooling on the location and shape of the conditional wage distribution in each sector. While the average impact of schooling on wages is similar across sectors, the impact of schooling on within-groups dispersion is found to be substantially larger in the private sector than in the public sector. This finding warns that the effects of the European educational expansion on overall within-groups dispersion may be lower than previously thought.

If 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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2010)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
Pages: 1045-1054

in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:8:p:1045-1054
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
  3. Dustmann, C. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1997. "Wage structures in the private and public sectors in West Germany," Other publications TiSEM f1b3bfed-ce84-471a-a9d7-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  4. Rebecca M. Blank, 1985. "An analysis of workers' choice between employment in the public and private sectors," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(2), pages 211-224, January.
  5. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  6. 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.
  7. Hogan, Vincent & Ian Walker, 2002. "Education Choice under Uncertainty," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 103, Royal Economic Society.
  8. Philip Trostel & Ian Walker, 2006. "Education and Work," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 377-399.
  9. Roger Koenker & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Quantile Regression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 143-156, Fall.
  10. Budría, Santiago & Pereira, Pedro T., 2005. "Educational Qualifications and Wage Inequality: Evidence for Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1763, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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.
  12. 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.
  13. A Gosling & Stephen Machin, 1995. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0271, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. Pereira, Pedro T. & Martins, Pedro S., 2000. "Does Education Reduce Wage Inequality? Quantile Regressions Evidence from Fifteen European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 120, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Orley Ashenfelter & Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2000. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/Earnings Relationship, with Tests for Publication Bias," NBER Working Papers 7457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  17. Hartog, Joop & Vijverberg, Wim P., 2002. "Do Wages Really Compensate for Risk Aversion and Skewness Affection?," IZA Discussion Papers 426, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Tansel, Avsit, 2005. "Public-Private Employment Choice, Wage Differentials, and Gender in Turkey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 453-77, January.
  19. Pereira, Pedro T. & Martins, Pedro S., 2001. "Is there a Return-Risk Link in Education?," IZA Discussion Papers 321, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Harmon, Colm & Hogan, Vincent & Walker, Ian, 2003. "Dispersion in the economic return to schooling," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 205-214, April.
  21. Terrell, Katherine, 1993. "Public-private wage differentials in Haiti Do public servants earn a rent?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 293-314, December.
  22. Blaise Melly, 2005. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Germany: Evidence from quantile regression," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 505-520, 09.
  23. 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.
  24. Hartog, Joop & Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2002. "Earnings Risk and Demand for Higher Education: A Cross-Section Test for Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 641, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
  26. Evangelia Papapetrou, 2006. "The unequal distribution of the public-private sector wage gap in Greece: evidence from quantile regression," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 205-210.
  27. Asma Hyder & Barry Reilly, 2005. "The Public Sector Pay Gap in Pakistan: A Quantile Regression Analysis," PRUS Working Papers 33, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
  28. Vincent (Vincent Peter) Hogan & Ian Walker, 2006. "Education choice under uncertainty : implications for public policy," Working Papers 200615, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  29. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  30. Heitmueller, Axel, 2004. "Public-Private Sector Wage Differentials in Scotland: An Endogenous Switching Model," IZA Discussion Papers 992, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  31. 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.
  32. Pereira, Pedro T. & Martins, Pedro S., 2001. "Returns to Education and Wage Equations," IZA Discussion Papers 298, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  33. Pohlmeier, Winfried & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Maier, Michael, 2004. "Returns to Education and Individual Heterogeneity," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-34, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  34. Santiago Budria & Javier Díaz-Jiménez, 2005. "Economic Inequality in Spain: The European Union Household Panel Dataset," Labor and Demography 0505001, EconWPA.
  35. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
  36. Joop Hartog & Pedro Pereira & Jose Vieira, 2001. "Changing returns to education in Portugal during the 1980s and early 1990s: OLS and quantile regression estimators," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(8), pages 1021-1037.
  37. Joop Hartog & Erik Plug & Luis Diaz Serrano & Jose Vieira, 2003. "Risk compensation in wages – a replication," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 639-647, July.
  38. Shaw, Kathryn L, 1996. "An Empirical Analysis of Risk Aversion and Income Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 626-53, October.
  39. Hartog, Joop & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1993. "Public and private sector wages in the Netherlands," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 97-114, January.
  40. Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira, Pedro T., 2004. "Does education reduce wage inequality? Quantile regression evidence from 16 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 355-371, June.
  41. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College," NBER Working Papers 9546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
  43. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
  44. George Psacharopoulos, 1985. "Returns to Education: A Further International Update and Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 583-604.
  45. Colm Harmon & Ian Walker & Niels Westergaard-Nielsen, 2001. "Introduction [to Education and earnings in Europe : a cross country analysis of the returns to education]," Open Access publications 10197/757, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  46. Trostel, Philip & Walker, Ian & Woolley, Paul, 2002. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for 28 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:8:p:1045-1054. See general 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: (Michael McNulty)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.