Flying High and Laying Low in the Public and Private Sectors: A Comparison of Pay Differentials for Full-Time Male Employees in Britain
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Using new linked employee-employer data for Britain in 2004, this paper shows that, on average, full-time male public sector employees earn 11.7 log wage points more than their private sector counterparts. Decomposition analysis reveals that the majority of this pay premium is associated with public sector employees having individual characteristics associated with higher pay and to their working in higher paid occupations. Further focussing analysis on the highly skilled and unskilled occupations in both sectors, reveals evidence of workplace segregation positively impacting on earnings in the private sector for the highly skilled, and in the public sector for the unskilled. Substantial earnings gaps between the highly skilled and unskilled are found, and the unexplained components in these gaps are very similar regardless of sector.