IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Beaches, sunshine, and public-sector pay: theory and evidence on amenities and rent extraction by government workers

  • Jan K. Brueckner

    ()

    (University of California, Irvine)

  • David Neumark

    ()

    (University of California, Irvine & National Bureau of Economic Research)

The absence of a competitive market and the presence and strength of public-sector labor unions make it likely that public-sector pay reflects an element of rent extraction by government workers. In this paper, we test a specific hypothesis that connects such rent extraction to the level of local amenities. Specifically, although migration of taxpayers limits the extent of rent-seeking, public-sector workers may be able to extract higher rents in regions where high amenities mute the migration response. We develop a theoretical model that predicts such a link between public-sector wage differentials and local amenities, and we test the model’s predictions by analyzing variation in these wage differentials and amenities across states. The evidence reveals that public-sector wage differentials are, in fact, larger in the presence of high amenities, with the effect being stronger for unionized public-sector workers, who are likely better able to exercise political power in extracting rents.

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: http://www.ieb.ub.edu/aplicacio/fitxers/2012/1/Doc2011-42.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2011/42.

as
in new window

Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2012/1/doc2011-42
Contact details of provider: Postal: Carrer del Tinent Coronel Valenzuela 1-11, 08034 Barcelona
Phone: 93 403 46 46
Fax: 93 403 98 32
Web page: http://www.ieb.ub.edu
Email:


More information through EDIRC

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. Alan B. Krueger, 1988. "Are Public Sector Workers Paid More Than Their Alternative Wage? Evidence from Longitudinal Data and Job Queues," NBER Chapters, in: When Public Sector Workers Unionize, pages 217-242 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. repec:aei:rpaper:31094 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Mendelsohn, Robert & Nordhaus, William D & Shaw, Daigee, 1994. "The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture: A Ricardian Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 753-71, September.
  4. Beeson, Patricia E & Eberts, Randall W, 1989. "Identifying Productivity and Amenity Effects in Interurban Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(3), pages 443-52, August.
  5. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1989. "Local public sector rent-seeking and its impact on local land values," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 493-516, August.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2004, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Richard B. Freeman & Robert Valletta, 1988. "The Effects of Public Sector Labor Laws on Labor Market Institutions and Outcomes," NBER Chapters, in: When Public Sector Workers Unionize, pages 81-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
  9. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1989. "The Importance of Local Fiscal Conditions in Analyzing Local Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1208-31, October.
  10. Blomquist, Glenn C & Berger, Mark C & Hoehn, John P, 1988. "New Estimates of Quality of Life in Urban Areas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 89-107, March.
  11. Gyourko, Joseph & Kahn, Matthew & Tracy, Joseph, 1999. "Quality of life and environmental comparisons," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 1413-1454 Elsevier.
  12. David Albouy, 2009. "What Are Cities Worth? Land Rents, Local Productivity, and the Capitalization of Amenity Values," NBER Working Papers 14981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Stuart Gabriel & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2003. "Quality of the Business Environment Versus Quality of Life: Do Firms and Households Like the Same Cities?," Working Paper 8615, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
  14. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  15. Richard B. Freeman & Casey Ichniowski, 1988. "When Public Sector Workers Unionize," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free88-1, October.
  16. Freeman, Richard B, 1986. "Unionism Comes to the Public Sector," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 41-86, March.
  17. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1982. "Evaluating consumer amenities and interregional welfare differences," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 32-59, January.
  18. Gramlich, Edward M, 1976. "The New York City Fiscal Crisis: What Happened and What Is to Be Done?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 415-29, May.
  19. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  20. Jeffrey Thompson & John Schmitt, 2010. "The Wage Penalty for State and Local Government Employees in New England," Working Papers wp233, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  21. Rappaport, Jordan & Sachs, Jeffrey D, 2003. " The United States as a Coastal Nation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 5-46, March.
  22. Rose, Heather & Sonstelie, Jon, 2010. "School board politics, school district size, and the bargaining power of teachers' unions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 438-450, May.
  23. 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.
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:ieb:wpaper:2012/1/doc2011-42. 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: ()

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.