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Gender Wage Gaps within a Public Sector: Evidence from Personnel Data

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Abstract

A standard finding is that the public sector exhibits lower gender wage gaps than the private sector. This is attributed to less gender discrimination in the public sector. We show that this conclusion is flawed as the standard finding for the public sector is driven by the dominating influence of large feminized occupational groups, such as nursing and teaching, which have flat job hierarchies and low wage variance. Other occupations within the public sector exhibit sizeable wage gaps which cannot be explained by workplace or worker characteristics. This implies that gender discrimination is substantial in some public sector occupations.

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