IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/12105.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Measuring Rents from Public Employment: Regression discontinuity evidence from Kenya

Author

Listed:
  • Barton, Nicholas
  • Bold, Tessa
  • Sandefur, Justin

Abstract

Public employees in many developing economies earn much higher wages than similar private-sector workers. These wage premia may reflect an efficient return to effort or unobserved skills, or an inefficient rent causing labor misallocation. To distinguish these explanations, we exploit the Kenyan government's algorithm for hiring eighteen-thousand new teachers in 2010 in a regression discontinuity design. Fuzzy regression discontinuity estimates yield a civil-service wage premium of over 100% (not attributable to observed or unobserved skills), but no effect on motivation, suggesting rent-sharing as the most plausible explanation for the wage premium.

Suggested Citation

  • Barton, Nicholas & Bold, Tessa & Sandefur, Justin, 2017. "Measuring Rents from Public Employment: Regression discontinuity evidence from Kenya," CEPR Discussion Papers 12105, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12105
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12105
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Aslam, Monazza & Kingdon, Geeta, 2009. "Public-private sector segmentation in the Pakistani labour market," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 34-49, January.
    2. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Hélène Turon, 2007. "The Public Pay Gap in Britain: Small Differences That (Don't?) Matter," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1460-1503, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Tessa Bold & Mwangi Kimenyi & Germano Mwabu & Justin Sandefur, 2015. "Can Free Provision Reduce Demand for Public Services? Evidence from Kenyan Education," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(2), pages 293-326.
    5. Michael Rosholm & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2001. "The public-private sector wage gap in Zambia in the 1990s: A quantile regression approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 169-182.
    6. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
    7. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    8. Hartog, Joop & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1993. "Public and private sector wages in the Netherlands," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 97-114, January.
    9. Anos Casero, Paloma & Seshan, Ganesh, 2006. "Public-private sector wage differentials and returns to education in Djibouti," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3923, The World Bank.
    10. Sebastian Calonico & Matias D. Cattaneo & Rocio Titiunik, 2014. "Robust data-driven inference in the regression-discontinuity design," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 14(4), pages 909-946, December.
    11. Raúl Ramos & Esteban Sanromá & Hipólito Simón, 2014. "Public-Private Sector Wage Differentials by Type of Contract: Evidence from Spain," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 208(1), pages 107-141, March.
    12. Esther Duflo & Rema Hanna & Stephen P. Ryan, 2012. "Incentives Work: Getting Teachers to Come to School," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1241-1278, June.
    13. Ernesto Dal Bó & Frederico Finan & Martín A. Rossi, 2013. "Strengthening State Capabilities: The Role of Financial Incentives in the Call to Public Service," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1169-1218.
    14. Sebastian Calonico & Matias D. Cattaneo & Rocio Titiunik, 2014. "Robust Nonparametric Confidence Intervals for Regression‐Discontinuity Designs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2295-2326, November.
    15. Danzer, Alexander M. & Dolton, Peter J., 2012. "Total Reward and pensions in the UK in the public and private sectors," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 584-594.
    16. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael, 2015. "School governance, teacher incentives, and pupil–teacher ratios: Experimental evidence from Kenyan primary schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 92-110.
    17. David Card & Alexandre Mas & Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 177-218.
    18. Monojit Chatterji & Karen Mumford & Peter Smith, 2011. "The public-private sector gender wage differential in Britain: evidence from matched employee-workplace data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(26), pages 3819-3833.
    19. Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert, 2007. "Signaling and screening of workers' motivation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 605-624, April.
    20. Robinson, Chris & Tomes, Nigel, 1984. "Union Wage Differentials in the Public and Private Sectors: A Simultaneous Equations Specification," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 106-127, January.
    21. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 159-208.
    22. Robin Burgess & Remi Jedwab & Edward Miguel & Ameet Morjaria & Gerard Padró i Miquel, 2015. "The Value of Democracy: Evidence from Road Building in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(6), pages 1817-1851, June.
    23. Hou, Jack W., 1993. "Public-private wage comparison: A case study of Taiwan," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 347-362.
    24. Miguel Urquiola, 2006. "Identifying Class Size Effects in Developing Countries: Evidence from Rural Bolivia," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 171-177, February.
    25. 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.
    26. James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2013. "The Political Economy of Clientelism," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 260-291, April.
    27. Frederico Finan & Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2015. "The Personnel Economics of the State," NBER Working Papers 21825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Claudio Lucifora & Dominique Meurs, 2006. "The Public Sector Pay Gap In France, Great Britain And Italy," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(1), pages 43-59, March.
    29. Raffaela Giordano & Manuel Coutinho Pereira & Domenico Depalo & Bruno Eugène & Evangelia Papapetrou & Javier J. Pérez & Lukas Reiss & Mojca Roter, 2014. "The Public Sector Pay Gap in a Selection of Euro Area Countries in the Pre-crisis Period," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 214(3), pages 11-34, September.
    30. Bruce E. Hansen, 2000. "Sample Splitting and Threshold Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 575-604, May.
    31. Michaelowa, Katharina. & Wittmann, Eveline., 2007. "The cost, satisfaction, and achievement of primary education- evidence from francophone sub-saharan Africa," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 41(1), pages 51-78, September.
    32. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    33. Dickson, Matt & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Turon, Hélène, 2014. "The lifetime earnings premium in the public sector: The view from Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 141-161.
    34. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    35. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, January.
    36. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 235-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    37. Hospido, Laura & Moral-Benito, Enrique, 2016. "The public sector wage premium in Spain: Evidence from longitudinal administrative data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 101-122.
    38. Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
    39. Domenico Depalo & Raffaela Giordano & Evangelia Papapetrou, 2015. "Public–private wage differentials in euro-area countries: evidence from quantile decomposition analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 985-1015, November.
    40. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00846558 is not listed on IDEAS
    41. David S. Lee, 2009. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1071-1102.
    42. Acemoglu, Daron, 1995. "Reward structures and the allocation of talent," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-33, January.
    43. Teal, Francis, 1996. "The Size and sources of economic rents in a developing country manufacturing labour market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 963-976, July.
    44. Asma Hyder & Barry Reilly, 2005. "The Public and Private Sector Pay Gap in Pakistan: A Quantile Regression Analysis," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 44(3), pages 271-306.
    45. Morley Gunderson, 1979. "Earnings Differentials between the Public and Private Sectors," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 12(2), pages 228-242, May.
    46. 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.
    47. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    48. Assaad, Ragui, 1997. "The Effects of Public Sector Hiring and Compensation Policies on the Egyptian Labor Market," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 85-118, January.
    49. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives From Selection," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 369-398, April.
    50. Clément Imbert, 2013. "Decomposing the Labor Market Earnings Inequality: The Public and Private Sectors in Vietnam, 1993–2006," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 27(1), pages 55-79.
    51. Christofides, Louis N. & Pashardes, Panos, 2002. "Self/paid-employment, public/private sector selection, and wage differentials," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(6), pages 737-762, December.
    52. Bold,Tessa & Filmer,Deon P. & Martin,Gayle & Molina,Ezequiel & Rockmore,Christophe & Stacy,Brian William & Svensson,Jakob & Wane,Waly, 2017. "What do teachers know and do ? does it matter ? evidence from primary schools in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7956, The World Bank.
    53. 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.
    54. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-293, March.
    55. Mizala, Alejandra & Romaguera, Pilar & Gallegos, Sebastián, 2011. "Public–private wage gap in Latin America (1992–2007): A matching approach," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 115-131.
    56. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2010. "The Impact of Diagnostic Feedback to Teachers on Student Learning: Experimental Evidence from India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(546), pages 187-203, August.
    57. Elena Glinskaya & Michael Lokshin, 2007. "Wage differentials between the public and private sectors in India," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 333-355.
    58. 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.
    59. Andrew Gelman & Guido Imbens, 2014. "Why High-order Polynomials Should not be Used in Regression Discontinuity Designs," NBER Working Papers 20405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    60. Tessa Bold & Mwangi Kimenyi & Germano Mwabu & Alice Ng'ang'a & Justin Sandefur, 2013. "Scaling-up What Works: Experimental Evidence on External Validity in Kenyan Education," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    61. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    62. Ganesh K. Seshan, 2013. "Public-Private-Sector Employment Decisions and Wage Differentials in Peninsular Malaysia," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(S5), pages 163-179, November.
    63. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1988. "An Analysis of Public- and Private-Sector Wages Allowing for Endogenous Choices of Both Government and Union Status," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 229-253, April.
    64. Lindauer, David L. & Sabot, Richard H., 1983. "The public/private wage differential in a poor urban economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-2), pages 137-152.
    65. Chung-An Chen & Chih-Wei Hsieh, 2015. "Does Pursuing External Incentives Compromise Public Service Motivation? Comparing the effects of job security and high pay," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(8), pages 1190-1213, September.
    66. Harald Tauchmann, 2014. "Lee (2009) treatment-effect bounds for nonrandom sample selection," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 14(4), pages 884-894, December.
    67. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-209, January.
    68. van der Gaag, Jacques & Vijverberg, Wim, 1988. "A Switching Regression Model for Wage Determinants in the Public and Private Sectors of a Developing Country," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 244-252, May.
    69. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    70. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
    71. Blaise Melly, 2005. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Germany: Evidence from quantile regression," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 505-520, September.
    72. 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).
    73. Adamchik, Vera A. & Bedi, Arjun S., 2000. "Wage differentials between the public and the private sectors: evidence from an economy in transition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-224, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    civil servants; motivation; public sector wages; wage gap;

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12105. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.