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Employment in the Public Sector

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  • Lorenzo Forni
  • Raffaela Giordano

Abstract

This paper presents a model of wage-employment determination in private and public sectors, which allows us to analyze the effects of different institutional arrangements on labor market equilibria. In particular, it focuses on how different degrees of coordination in decision processes affect hiring and wage setting outcomes. Cooperation in unions’ behavior results in wage increases and employment reduction in the private sector, whereas it induces wage moderation and employment expansion in the public sector. Not surprisingly, if public decision units do not fully internalize the aggregate budget constraint in their hiring processes, the public sector wage bill and the level of taxation increase, thus enhancing the crowding out effect on private employment. Such effect appears to be stronger in the presence of encompassing union behavior. An empirical analysis performed on a sample of OECD countries in the period 1960-2000 seems to support the main predictions of the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorenzo Forni & Raffaela Giordano, 2003. "Employment in the Public Sector," CESifo Working Paper Series 1085, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1085
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1085.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tito Boeri & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta, "undated". "Regulation and Labour Market Performance," Working Papers 158, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. Yianos Kontopoulos & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Government Fragmentation and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: Evidence from OECD Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 81-102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Schwarz, Joshua L., 1987. "Public-sector labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.),Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1219-1260, Elsevier.
    4. Lorenzo Forni, 2004. "Centralization of wage bargaining and the unemployment rate: revisiting the hump-shape hypothesis," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 492, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Mário Centeno & Pedro Portugal & Economic Bulletin, 2001. "Wages of Civil Servants," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    6. Holmlund, Bertil, 1993. "Wage setting in private and public sectors in a model with endogenous government behavior," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 149-162, May.
    7. Holmlund, Bertil, 1997. "Macroeconomic Implications of Cash Limits in the Public Sector," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(253), pages 49-62, February.
    8. Gregory, Robert G. & Borland, Jeff, 1999. "Recent developments in public sector labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.),Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 53, pages 3573-3630, Elsevier.
    9. repec:oup:ecpoli:v:17:y:2002:i:34:p:7-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Afonso, António & Gomes, Pedro, 2014. "Interactions between private and public sector wages," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 97-112.
    2. Kollintzas, Tryphon & Papageorgiou, Dimitris & Vassilatos, Vanghelis, 2018. "Market and political power interactions in Greece: A theory," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 59-83.
    3. Vasilev, Aleksandar, 2013. "Fiscal policy in a Real-Business-Cycle model with labor-intensive government services and endogenous public sector wages and hours," EconStor Preprints 142338, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    4. Domenico Depalo & Raffaella Giordano, 2011. "The public-private pay gap: a robust quantile approach," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 70(1), pages 25-64, January.
    5. Pérez, Javier J. & Giordano, Raffaela & Depalo, Domenico & Coutinho Pereira, Manuel & Eugène, Bruno & Papapetrou, Evangelia & Reiss, Lukas & Roter, Mojca, 2011. "The public sector pay gap in a selection of Euro area countries," Working Paper Series 1406, European Central Bank.
    6. 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.
    7. Ardagna, Silvia, 2007. "Fiscal Policy in Unionized Labor Markets," Scholarly Articles 2580048, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Anne Lauringson, 2010. "Measuring Union Bargaining Power In The Estonian Public Sector," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 72, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    9. Lamo, Ana & Pérez, Javier J. & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2013. "Are government wages interlinked with private sector wages?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 697-712.
    10. Eduardo Martínez Chombo, 2009. "Sources of Over-Costs and Distortions in State-Owned Utilities in Mexico," Working Papers 2009-07, Banco de México.
    11. Ardagna, Silvia, 2007. "Fiscal policy in unionized labor markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1498-1534, May.

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    Keywords

    public employment; wage bargaining; decentralization;

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