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Wage differentials between the public and private sector in India

  • Glinskaya, Elena
  • Lokshin, Michael

The authors use 1993-94 and 1999-2000 India Employment and Unemployment surveys to investigate wage differentials between the public and private sectors as well as workers'decisions to join a particular sector. To obtain robust estimates of the wage differential, they apply three econometric techniques each relying on a different set of assumptions about the process of job selection. All three methods show that differences in wages between public sector workers and workers in the formal-private and informal-casual sectors are positive and high. Estimates show that, on average, the public sector premium ranges between 62 percent and 102 percent over the private-formal sector, and between 164 percent and 259 percent over the informal-casual sector, depending on the choice of methodology. The authors'review of wage differentials (estimated using similar methodologies) across the world shows that India has one of the largest differentials between wages of public workers and workers in the formal private sector. The wage differentials in India tend to be higher in rural as compared with urban areas, and are higher among women than among men. The wage differential also tends to be higher for low-skilled workers. There is considerable evidence of an increase in the wage differential between 1993-94 and 1999-2000.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3574.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3574
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  1. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  3. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Evaluating the employment impact of a mandatory job search assistance program," IFS Working Papers W01/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  5. 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.
  6. Fran├žois Bourguignon & Martin Fournier & Marc Gurgand, 2002. "Selection Bias Correction Based on the Multinomial Logit Model," Working Papers 2002-04, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  7. Guido W. Imbens, 1999. "The Role of the Propensity Score in Estimating Dose-Response Functions," NBER Technical Working Papers 0237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael Lechner, 2002. "Program Heterogeneity And Propensity Score Matching: An Application To The Evaluation Of Active Labor Market Policies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 205-220, May.
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