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Evangelia Papapetrou

13 December 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1406
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Abstract
We investigate the public-private wage differentials in ten euro area countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain). To account for differences in employment characteristics between the two sectors, we focus on micro data taken from EU-SILC. The results point to a conditional pay differential in favour of the public sector that is generally higher for women, at the low tail of the wage distribution, in the Education and the Public administration sectors rather than in the Health sector. Notable differences emerge across countries, with Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain exhibiting higher public sector premia than other countries.
JEL Code
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
O52 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Europe
11 August 2016
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 176
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Abstract
This paper examines the overall macroeconomic impact arising from reform in government wages and employment, at times of fiscal consolidation. Reform of these two components of the government wage bill appeared necessary for containing the deterioration of the public finances in several EU countries, as a consequence of the financial crisis. Such reforms entailed in some instances, but not always, the implementation of cost-cutting measures affecting the government wage bill, as part of broader consolidation packages that typically hinged more heavily on other fiscal instruments, like public investment. While such measures have adverse short-term macroeconomic effects, public wage bill restraining policy changes present the idiosyncrasy that they can yield medium- to longer-term benefits due to possible competitiveness and efficiency gains through their impact on labour market dynamics. This paper provides some evidence of such medium- to long-run effects, based on a wealth of micro and macro data in the euro area and the EU. It concludes that appropriately designed government wage bill moderation could indeed produce positive dividends to the economy, which depend on certain country-specific conditions. These gains can be reinforced by relevant fiscal-structural reforms.
JEL Code
H50 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→General
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
J45 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Particular Labor Markets→Public Sector Labor Markets