Examining equality between public- and private-sector wage distributions

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Most comparability studies examine average pay differences, but this article explores differences in the distribution of public- and private-sector wages. Applying a new type of decomposition method, the results indicate that the difference in average wages is only a small part of wage incomparability, whereas differences in the variance of the differential are a much more important factor explaining incomparability. Further results find that differences in wage structure and unobservable factors determining wages have distinct effects in different parts of the wage distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-79
Number of pages18
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003


  • switching regression-model
  • earnings differentials
  • public sector pay
  • distributions


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