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Public-Private Wage Gap in Australia: Variation Along the Distribution


  • Lixin Cai
  • Amy Y.C. Liu


Previous research on public-private wage differentials in Australia is scarce and has focused on the central parts of the conditional wage distribution. Using the first six waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, this study applies quantile regression models to examine whether the sectoral wage effect varies along the wage distribution. For females, we find public sector wage premiums for almost the entire wage distribution and the premiums are relatively stable except at the extremities of the distribution. For males, the premiums decrease monotonically and are negative for the top half of the conditional wage distribution. The decomposition results show that the observed differences in individuals and job characteristics account for a substantial proportion of the overall sectoral wage gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Lixin Cai & Amy Y.C. Liu, 2008. "Public-Private Wage Gap in Australia: Variation Along the Distribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 581, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:581

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Siminski, 2013. "Are low-skill public sector workers really overpaid? A quasi-differenced panel data analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(14), pages 1915-1929, May.

    More about this item


    wage gap; quantile regression; decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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