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Job Satisfaction and Self-Selection into the Public or Private Sector: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

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  • Danzer, Natalia

    (Free University of Berlin)

Abstract

Are public sector jobs better than private sector jobs? To answer this question, this paper investigates observed differences in job satisfaction between public- and private-sector workers and disentangles the effect of worker sorting from the one caused by sector-specific job characteristics. A natural experiment – the massive privatization process in post-Soviet countries – allows correcting potential self-selection bias. Industry-specific privatization probabilities are assigned to workers based on unique individual-level survey information regarding pre-determined Soviet jobs during the 1980s. The results reveal a causal public-sector satisfaction premium and a negative selection of individuals into the public sector. Part of the public-private satisfaction gap can be explained by the different availability of fringe benefits in the two sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Danzer, Natalia, 2013. "Job Satisfaction and Self-Selection into the Public or Private Sector: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7644, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7644
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    public sector; job satisfaction; self-selection; quasi-experiment; privatization; fringe benefits;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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