Which Pays Better: Public or Private Sector Jobs?

Settling the Debate
September 8, 2014
563.89 KB13 pages

This report provides an overview of public versus private sector pay in order to determine which one pays better. Looking at the general consensus from an array of academic studies of private-public sector pay, we find that public sector workers, on average, are paid more than private sector workers.

The discrepancy isn’t due to high-end salaries. In fact, most studies show the difference between private and public sector pay is readily explained by factors such as age and education and that they are concentrated in two areas: lower-paid workers and female workers. In both cases, more egalitarian pay practices of the public sector, compared to the private sector, generate a positive outcome for public sector workers.