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The gender pay gap in the public sector: Evidence from the Labour Force Survey

TitleThe gender pay gap in the public sector: Evidence from the Labour Force Survey
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsMueller, R. E.
JournalSocial Science Research Network (SSRN) Working Paper
Keywordscanada, male-female, private sector, public sector, wage differentials

Using the merged monthly Labour Force Survey from 2006 through 2018, we employ a variety of techniques to address the pay gap for males and females between four definitions of the public sector and the private sector, as well as the gender pay gap within each of these five sectors. We find that public employees not involved in public administration and of either gender tend to have lower wage premiums than public employees in federal, provincial or local government administration. Any premium for the latter three groups, however, is highly dependent on the industry comparator group used and thus these wage premiums can also be wage penalties. Females do tend to have higher public sector premiums than their male counterparts when comparing within each gender. The gender wage gap within each sector, however, still is positive and favours males, although the private sector wage gap is much larger than that in the public sector regardless of public sector definition. Estimates of any wage premiums at the mean cloud differences along the wage distribution with public employees having the highest premiums at the lower tail which decline and may even be negative at the upper tail of the same distribution. Within sector comparisons show the gender wage gap tends to be marginally higher at the middle of the distribution within each sector.

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