Public-Private Wage Differentials in Ireland, 1994-2001
Are public sector workers in Ireland paid more than private sector employees, when such differences in productivity-related personal attributes and job characteristics are controlled for? We estimate that in 2001 the premium enjoyed by public servants was about 13 per cent. We find that the premium, is significantly bigger for those near the bottom of the earnings distribution than for those near the top, was significantly bigger for women than men in the mid-1990s but not at the end of the 1990s, and does not vary significantly across different levels of educational attainment. We estimate the premium for 2001 to be not significantly different from that estimated for 1994 despite this period a period of exceptionally rapid output and employment growth, and correspondingly sharp tightening of labour market conditions in the Irish economy. The most remarkable difference between our results and those of other researchers for other countries relates to the absolute size of the premium. A number of possible explanations for this difference are discussed.
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