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Public-private sector wage differentials in Spain. An updated picture in the midst of the Great Recession.

Antón, José-Ignacio and Muñoz de Bustillo, Rafael (2013): Public-private sector wage differentials in Spain. An updated picture in the midst of the Great Recession.

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Abstract

Using the recent Wage Structure Survey 2010, this article examines the public-private sector wage gaps in Spain along the whole earnings distribution and the incidence of the gender gap in both sectors of the economy. Firstly, we find that that there is positive wage premium to public sector employment that is not fully explained by employees’ observable characteristics. Furthermore, this premium concentrates on low-skilled workers, while high-skilled individuals in the public sector suffer a pay penalty. Secondly, the gender gap is substantially larger in the private sector. Lastly, we analyse what happens in some specific activities, Education and Human health and social work, where both public and private sector coexist to a large extent. We discuss several explanations for these findings, which coherent with international evidence, and the possible implications of the current process of downsizing of public sector employment associated with austerity measures.

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