The Distribution of Gender and Public Sector Pay Premia: Evidence from the Egyptian Organised Sector

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Mona Said (2003)

Using earnings functions estimates on a survey of Egyptian establishments conducted in 1990, standard decomposition techniques of wage differentials show that both males and females have an earnings disadvantage in the public enterprise and government sectors after correcting for a range of personal and job characteristics. Gender based pay discrimination is small in the public sector. In contrast, it is quite high by international comparisons in the private sector and mainly takes place by paying a pure rent premium to men estimated at about 82 % of female pay, with a large proportion (35 % of female pay) attributable to segregation or entry barriers facing females in certain occupations. Quantile regression methods were further used to examine the distribution of wage premia across occupations and wage quantiles. The results show that public sector wage premia exist only at the lower level of the wage distribution and gender-based pay discrimination is highest in the private sector for the low wage quantiles of unskilled workers and higher wage groups in technical and managerial positions. The paper’s results highlight the need to reform pay policy in the government and the expected disproportionate impact of privatisation and civil service reform on women in the Egyptian labour market.
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