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Gender, the Welfare State, and Public Employment: A Comparative Study of Seven Industrialized Countries

Опубликовано на портале: 22-05-2004
American Sociological Review. 1998.  Vol. 63. No. 5. P. 688-710. 
Using data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), we explore the influence of government employment on the gender gap in earnings in seven countries. We address four questions on the effects of public-sector employment on the gender gap in earnings: (1) Do governments offer jobs that are comparatively high paying? (2) Does public employment benefit some workers, such as low-paid workers, more than others? (3) Are public-sector employment advantages explained by differences in worker characteristics and the occupational mix? (4) What is the effect of public employment-its extent and its pay structure-on gender gaps in wages? Our results indicate marked variation across liberal, conservative, and social democratic welfare states, but reveal a number of uniformities as well. In most of the seven countries in our sample, public-sector workers earn more on average than do workers in the private sector, and most earnings advantages are concentrated on the low end of the earnings distribution. The effect of public employment on the overall gender gap in wages is limited in most countries. We discuss the implications of these results for theory and research on gender and the welfare state.