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Wage rates and job queues - does the public sector overpay in Ethiopia?

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  • Mengistae, Taye

Abstract

The public sector's share in wage employment is higher in Africa - including Ethiopia's urban labor market - than in developed economies. Fuller unionization, greater job security, and more generous non-wage benefits in the public sector lead one to assume that workers might queue up for public sector jobs.Do higher wage rates in Ethiopia's public sector create such a queue? The author extends Lee's two-stage structural probit analysis to test (with data from a recent urban household survey) and measure the existence and scope of such a queue for public sector jobs in Ethiopia. The results reject the absence of job rationing in favor of an implicit queue of most private sector workers for public sector jobs. The queue exists mainly because of popular expectations of a wage premium (between 11 and 40 percent) in the public sector. Controlling for individual differences in expectations of the sectoral wage differences, the author finds that skill does not significantly affect a worker's sector preferences, but some social characteristics do. A worker with a traditional farming background is more likely to be in the queue than is a second-generation urban dweller. This is interesting, considering that the influx of rural migrants to urban centers in the last few decades has been partly fueled by hopes of public sector employment. On average, women are more likely than men, and workers in provincial towns more likely than workers in the capital, to prefer public sector jobs. Level of schooling and job experience do not seem to affect preferences for the public over the private sector. The probability of a worker's being selected from the public sector queue decreases with the wage rate the worker potentially commands as a public sector employee. Workers on the lower end of the pay scale are more likely to be selected. Among workers who join the queue for public sector jobs, men are more likely to be hired than women and skilled workers are more likely to be hired than less-skilled workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Mengistae, Taye, 1999. "Wage rates and job queues - does the public sector overpay in Ethiopia?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2105, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2105
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Upadhyay, Mukti P., 1997. "Can public sector employment spur human capital acquisition?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 121-127, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adeola F. Adenikinju & Olugboyega Oyeranti, 1999. "Characteristics and Behaviour of African Factor Markets and Market Institutions and Their Consequences for Economic Growth," CID Working Papers 31A, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    2. Fábio Veras Soares, 2004. "Do Informal Workers Queue For Formal Jobs in Brazil ?," Discussion Papers 1021, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
    3. Hyder, Asma, 2007. "Wage Differentials, Rate of Return toEducation, and Occupational WageShare in the Labour Market of Pakistan," MPRA Paper 2224, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. MartÌn Rama, 2003. "The Sri Lankan Unemployment Problem Revisited," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 510-525, August.
    5. Abu, Girma Moges, 2000. "The Distributional Implications of personal Income Tax Reforms: The case of Civil Service sector in Ethiopia," Ethiopian Journal of Economics, Ethiopian Economics Association, vol. 9(2).
    6. Asma Hyder, 2007. "Preference for Public Sector Jobs and Wait Unemployment: A Micro Data Analysis," PIDE-Working Papers 2007:20, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    7. Pieter Serneels, 2002. "Explaining Non-Negative Duration Dependence Among the Unemployed," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    8. Bales, Sarah & Rama, Martin, 2001. "Are public sector workers underpaid? - Appropriate comparators in a developing country," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2747, The World Bank.
    9. Voxi Heinrich AMAVILAH, 2016. "Social Obstacles to Technology, Technological Change, and the Economic Growth of African Countries: Some Anecdotal Evidence from Economic History," Turkish Economic Review, KSP Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 320-340, June.
    10. World Bank, 2005. "Education in Ethiopia : Strengthening the Foundation for Sustainable Progress," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7434.
    11. Pieter Serneels, 2004. "The Nature of Unemployment in Urban Ethiopia," Development and Comp Systems 0409042, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Health Promotion; Public Sector Economics&Finance; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Statistical&Mathematical Sciences; Economic Systems; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Economic Stabilization; Inequality; Public Sector Economics&Finance; Macroeconomic Management;

    JEL classification:

    • C34 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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