IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Public-private wage differences in the Western Balkan countries


  • Vladisavljević, Marko
  • Narazani, Edlira
  • Golubović, Vojin


This paper investigates wage differences between the public and private sectors in the Western Balkan countries. As currently there are no micro data sets that are fully comparable across countries, we provide evidence based on the available macro-level data and results from recent micro-level research which typically focus on the individual countries. We find that in all Western Balkan countries the average wages in the public sector are higher than the wages in the private sector, but also that the high-skilled workers work more frequently in the public sector, therefore partially or fully "justifying" the wage differences. Around the begining of 2010s, wage differences were lower in Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo, where when adjusted for the differences in workers characteristics they become insignificant. The differences were more promenent in Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the differences in characteristic cannot explain the gap fully, and where the public sector wage premium is positive and significant. However, public private wage differences are still very volatile and under the impact of countries' political decisions. The differences in the size of the premium is discussed in the context of previously estblished correlates: differences in the total public sector size and private sector job security, as well as different size of the public sector wage premium at the different parts of the wage distribution. As public private wage gaps have important micro and macro level implications, their trends and mechanisms should be closely monitored and investigated in future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Vladisavljević, Marko & Narazani, Edlira & Golubović, Vojin, 2017. "Public-private wage differences in the Western Balkan countries," MPRA Paper 80739, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:80739

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Mojsoska-Blazevski, Nikica & Petreski, Marjan & Petreska, Despina, 2013. "Increasing labour market activity of poor and female: Let’s make work pay in Macedonia," MPRA Paper 57228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Michael M. Lokshin & Branko Jovanovic, 2003. "Wage differentials and state-private sector employment choice in Yugoslavia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(3), pages 463-491, September.
    4. Blazevski, Nikica Mojsoska & Petreski, Marjan & Petreska, Despina, 2013. "Increasing labour market activity of the poor and females: let’s make work pay in Macedonia," EUROMOD Working Papers EM16/13, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Public private wage differences; Western Balkans;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:pra:mprapa:80739. 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: (Joachim Winter). 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.