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The Public-Private Sector Pay Gap in Ireland: What Lies Beneath?

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  • Kelly, Elish
  • McGuinness, Seamus
  • O'Connell, Philip J.

Abstract

This paper provides a sub-sectoral analysis of changes in the public-private sector pay gap in Ireland between 2003 and 2006. We find that between March 2003 and October 2006 the public sector pay premium increased from 14 to 26 per cent and that there was substantial variation between subsectors of the public service. Within the public service the premium in 2006 was highest in Education and Security Services and lowest in the Civil Service and Local Authorities. In the private sector the pay penalty in 2006, relative to the public sector, was most severe in Hotels & Restaurants and in Wholesale & Retail and least severe in Financial Intermediation and Construction. The paper tests for the sensitivity of the pay gap estimates using a matching framework, which provides a stronger emphasis on job content, and finds the results to be broadly comparable to OLS. Finally, the study highlights the problems associated with controlling for organisational size in any study of the public-private pay gap in Ireland.

Suggested Citation

  • Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J., 2009. "The Public-Private Sector Pay Gap in Ireland: What Lies Beneath?," Papers WP321, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp321
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kelly, Eilish & McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip, 2009. "Benchmarking, Social Partnership and Higher Remuneration: Wage Settling Institutions and the Public-Private Sector Wage Gap in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(3), pages 339-370.
    2. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karl Whelan, 2010. "Policy Lessons from Ireland’s Latest Depression," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 41(2), pages 225-254.
    2. 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.
    3. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan & John Walsh, 2011. "The Economic Crisis, Public Sector Pay and the Income Distribution," Research in Labor Economics, in: Herwig Immervoll & Andreas Peichl & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Who Loses in the Downturn? Economic Crisis, Employment and Income Distribution, volume 32, pages 207-225, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    4. Gabriela Grotkowska & Leszek Wincenciak, 2014. "Public sector wage premium in Poland: can it be explained by structural differences in employment?," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 38.
    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. Kelly, Elish & O'Connell, Philip J. & Smyth, Emer, 2010. "The economic returns to field of study and competencies among higher education graduates in Ireland," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 650-657, August.
    7. Bergin, Adele & Conefrey, Thomas & FitzGerald, John & Kearney, Ide, 2009. "Recovery Scenarios for Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS007, November.
    8. Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maitre & Sarah Voitchovsky & Christopher Whelan, 2012. "GINI DP 70: Inequality and Poverty in Boom and Bust: Ireland as a Case Study," GINI Discussion Papers 70, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    9. 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 / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 214(3), pages 11-34, September.
    10. Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J., 2013. "Comparing Public and Private Sector Pay in Ireland: Size Matters," Research Notes RN2012/4/2, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    11. Lane, Philip R., 2009. "A New Fiscal Strategy for Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(2), pages 233-253.
    12. Russell, Helen & McGinnity, Fran & Kingston, Gillian, 2014. "Gender and the Quality of Work: From Boom to Recession," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT264, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employer-EmployeeLinked Data/Ireland/Propensity Score Matching/Public-Private Sector Pay Gap/Sub-Sectoral Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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