What Has 20 Years Of Public–Private Pay Gap Literature Told Us? Eastern European Transitioning Vs. Developed Economies

TitleWhat Has 20 Years Of Public–Private Pay Gap Literature Told Us? Eastern European Transitioning Vs. Developed Economies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLausev, Jelena
JournalJournal of Economic Surveys
Volume28
Issue3
Pagination516 - 550
Keywordsdeveloped economies, earnings, Eastern Europe, intercountry comparisons, pay, public and private sectors, public–private pay gap, salaries, transitioning economies in Eastern Europe
Abstract

This paper surveys the literature on public–private sector pay differentials based on 20 years of research in transitioning countries of Eastern Europe (EE) and compares the results with estimates obtained from developed market economies. The majority of empirical studies from EE economies found evidence of public sector pay penalties during the period of economic transition from a communist to market-based economy. In developed economies, however, the average differential is usually around zero or positive. The public sector pay inequality reducing effect relative to the private sector is greater in transitioning economies than in developed economies. Nevertheless, there is evidence that the sign of the public sector pay gap as well as the relative public sector pay distribution change with the progress of economic transition towards those usually observed in developed economies. Different pay-setting arrangements between private and public sectors and competition for workers seem to be major arguments for the existence of systematic pay differences between the two sectors.