Public and Private Sector Pay

  • R. F. Elliott
  • J. L. Fallick


In Chapter 5 we touched briefly on the subject of the relative rates of pay in the public and private sectors when we looked at the position of ‘top salaried’ employees. However, we have yet to address this question for the vast majority of manual and non-manual employees who have been the main focus of attention so far. The issue is a heated one and one which is, furthermore, not easily resolved. The statistics necessary for a full understanding of the problem still do not exist (at the time of writing) despite government claims to the contrary. For these reasons it is not possible to provide definite answers to questions about the comparative rates of pay of specific occupations in public and private employment, nor for this reason is it possible to provide definite evidence of low pay in the public sector. Some progress can, of course, be made with existing statistics but we should be cautious of our interpretation of these. In particular, we should be cautious of placing too much emphasis on the levels of pay of specific occupations in the two sectors at any single point in time; rather, we should confine ourselves to an analysis of broad changes in relative pay through time.


Private Sector Public Sector Wage Rate Earning Change Income Policy 
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Copyright information

© R. F. Elliott and J. L. Fallick 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. F. Elliott
  • J. L. Fallick

There are no affiliations available

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