How many people are employed by the government? How many are employed by the central government compared with the state and local authorities? How many are employed in public enterprise? How much are they all paid? How much are they paid relative to each other, or relative to the private sector? Such questions interest people in general and economists and policymakers in particular; yet it is remarkable how little information is readily accessible on thes topics.
Occasional Papers of the International Monetary Fund
*1. International Capital Markets: Recent Developments and Short-Term Prospects, by a Staff Team Headed by R.C. Williams, Exchange and Trade Relations Department. 1980.
2. Economic Stabilization and Growth in Portugal, by Hans O. Schmitt. 1981.
*3. External Indebtedness of Developing Countries, by a Staff Team Headed by Bahram Nowzad and Richard C. Williams. 1981.
*4. World Economic Outlook: A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund. 1981.
5. Trade Policy Developments in Industrial Countries, by S.J. Anjaria, Z. Iqbal, L.L. Perez, and W.S. Tseng. 1981.
6. The Multilateral System of Payments: Keynes, Convertibility, and the International Monetary Fund’s Articles of Agreement, by Joseph Gold. 1981.
7. International Capital Markets: Recent Developments and Short-Term Prospects, 1981, by a Staff Team Headed by Richard C. Williams, with G.G. Johnson. 1981.
8. Taxation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Part I: Tax Policy and Administration in Sub-Saharan Africa, by Carlos A. Aguirre, Peter S. Griffith, and M. Zühtü Yücelik. Part II: A Statistical Evaluation of Taxation in Sub-Saharan Africa, by Vito Tanzi. 1981.
9. World Economic Outlook: A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund. 1982.
10. International Comparisons of Government Expenditure, by Alan A. Tait and Peter S. Heller. 1982.
11. Payments Arrangements and the Expansion of Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa, by Shailendra J. Anjaria, Sena Eken, and John F. Laker. 1982.
12. Effects of Slowdown in Industrial Countries on Growth in Non-Oil Developing Countries, by Morris Goldstein and Mohsin S. Khan. 1982.
13. Currency Convertibility in the Economic Community of West African States, by John B. McLenaghan, Saleh M. Nsouli, and Klaus-Walter Riechel. 1982.
14. International Capital Markets: Developments and Prospects, 1982, by a Staff Team Headed by Richard C. Williams, with G.G. Johnson. 1982.
15. Hungary: An Economic Survey, by a Staff Team Headed by Patrick de Fontenay. 1982.
16. Developments in International Trade Policy, by S.J. Anjaria, Z. Iqbal, N. Kirmani, and L.L. Perez. 1982.
17. Aspects of the International Banking Safety Net, by G.G. Johnson, with Richard K. Abrams. 1983.
18. Oil Exporters’ Economic Development in an Interdependent World, by Jahangir Amuzegar. 1983.
19. The European Monetary System: The Experience, 1979-82, by Horst Ungerer, with Owen Evans and Peter Nyberg. 1983.
20. Alternatives to the Central Bank in the Developing World, by Charles Collyns. 1983.
21. World Economic Outlook: A Survey by the Staff of the International Monetary Fund. 1983.
22. Interest Rate Policies in Developing Countries, by the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund. 1983.
23. International Capital Markets: Developments and Prospects, 1983, by Richard Williams, Peter Keller, John Lipsky, and Donald Mathieson. 1983.
24. Government Employment and Pay: Some International Comparisons, by Peter S. Heller and Alan A. Tait, 1983. Revised 1984.
25. Recent Multilateral Debt Restructurings with Official and Bank Creditors, by a Staff Team Headed by E. Brau and R.C. Williams, with P.M. Keller and M. Nowak. 1983.
Government Employment and Pay: Some International Comparisons
By Peter S. Heller and Alan A. Tait
International Monetary Fund
Revised and Reprinted, March 1984
The term “country.” as used in this publication, does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice; the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis.
International Standard Serial Number: ISSN 0251-6365
(US$3.00 to university libraries, faculty members, and students)
Address orders to: External Relations Department, Attention Publications International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C. 20431
II. Conceptual and Methodological Issues in the Development of the Data Base
Sources of Data
The Measurement of Government Employment
The Measurement of Wages and Salaries
Measurement of the Salary of Specific Jobs
III. Issues in the Analysis of Public Sector Employment and Wages: Leverage Implications of Public Employment
Measures of the Size of Government Employment
Measures of the Size of Government: Wages and Salaries
Linkages Between Wage Expenditure and Total Public Expenditure
IV. Determinants of the Size of Government Employment: An Alternative View of Wagner’s Law
V. Are Public Sector Wages Too High?
VI. The Structure of Government Wages by Level of Government and by Occupational Groupings
Wage Levels Across Elements of the Public Sector
Salary-Scale Index for Specific Jobs
Distribution of Employees Across Salary Ranges
VII. Employment and Wages in Functional Categories
Education and Health
Defense and Police
VIII. Possible Policy Applications: Calculation of Intercountry Indices for Analyzing the Level and Structure of Government Employment and Wages
Employment: By Level of Government
Employment: By Function
An Approach for Analyzing the Level of Government Salaries
IX. Some Broad Conclusions
I. Statistical Tables and Charts
II. Sources of Data
III. 1. Share of Government Employment in Total Nonagricultural Sector Employment and Population, by Level of Government and Region: Means and Standard Deviations
2. Share of Different Units of Government in Total Employment of General Government and the Public Sector, by Level of Government and Region: Means and Standard Deviations
3. Share of Different Units of Government in Total Payroll of General Government and the Public Sector: Means and Standard Deviations
4. Government Wages Relative to Total Wages, National Income, and GDP: Means and Standard Deviations
5. Determinants of the Wage Share in National Income
6. Functional Expenditure Determinants of Central Government Wage Expenditure
IV. 7. Determinants of Government Employment
V. 8. Alternative Measures of the Level of Government Wages
9. Determinants of the Ratio of the Average Central Government Wage to GDP Per Capita
VI. 10. Intergovernmental Wage Differentials: Means and Standard Deviations
11. Measures of the Structure of Salaries by Occupation
12. Degree of Inequality in Distribution of Salaries
VII. 13. Average Number of Adjusted Central Government Employees per 100 Inhabitants, by Functional Sector and Region: Means and Standard Deviations
14. Average Share of Adjusted Central Government Employment in a Functional Sector, by Region: Means and Standard Deviations
15. Indices of Mean Salaries by Functional Sector Relative to Average Central Government Wage: Means and Standard Deviations
VIII. 16. IGEM Indices and Predicted Level of Government Employment: By Level of Government
17. Determinants of Functional Employment Per Capita
18. IGEM Indices and Predicted Level of Central Government Wages
19. Data Requested From 139 Countries
20. Employees by Level of Government
21. Government Employees Per Capita
22. Government Employees as Share of Nonagricultural Sector Employment
23. Distribution of Government Employees by Level of Government
24. Distribution of Government Wages by Level of Government
25. Share of Government Wages in National Income at Market Prices
26. Share of Government Wages in Total Wages in the Economy
27. Measures of the Level of Government Wages
28. Other Measures of Public/Private Sector Wage Differentials
29. Average Wage of 15 Different Government Jobs Relative to that of Clerical Officer
30. Central Government Employees by Functional Sector per 100 Inhabitants
31. Central Government Employees by Functional Sector as a Share of Total Central Government Employment
32. Index of Average Salary per Employee in Different Functional Sectors Relative to Average Central Government Wage
33. IGEM Indices and Predicted Level of Employment by Key Functional Sector
1. The Netherlands, Sweden, Kenya, and Senegal: Lorenz Curve of Government Salary Structure
2. New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom: Lorenz Curve of Government Salary Structure
3. Kenya, Senegal, and Swaziland: Lorenz Curve of Government Salary Structure
4. Korea and Sri Lanka: Lorenz Curve of Government Salary Structure
5. Guatemala, Panama, and El Salvador: Lorenz Curve of Government Salary Structure
The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:
… to indicate that data are not available;
— to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist:
- between years or months (e.g., 1979-81 or January-June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;
/ between years (e.g., 1980/81) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.
“Billion” means a thousand million.
Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.
This study was prepared by Alan A. Tait, Deputy Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department, and Peter S. Heller, Chief of the Special Fiscal Studies Division. Joan Aghevli, a research assistant in the Fiscal Affairs Department, coordinated the distribution of the questionnaires and tabulated the data. Tarja Papavassiliou, also a research assistant in the Fiscal Affairs Department, did much of the computer analyses.
Many people in many countries took the time and trouble to reply to the questionnaires, often producing new statistics or recalculating old statistics into new forms. In addition, the paper benefitted from the valuable criticisms of V. Tanzi, R. Goode, J. Levin, C. Gray, E. Berg, and P. Landell-Mills. Naturally, the opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of other staff members or of the Fund.
The first edition of this Occasional Paper contained an error relating to central government employment in administration in the United Kingdom. This revised edition omits from Appendix Tables 30 through 32 the row showing the functional distribution of central government employment in the United Kingdom. The regional averages and the econometric results shown in Tables 13, 14, 15, 17, and 33, with the associated references in the text, have been changed accordingly.
Martin,JohnP.,“Public Sector Employment Trends in Western Industrialized Economies,” inPublic Finance and Public Employment,ed. byRobertH. Haveman (Wayne State University Press, 1982), pp. 29–16.
Martin,JohnP.,“Public Sector Employment Trends in Western Industrialized Economies,” inPublic Finance and Public Employment,ed. byRobertH. Haveman (Wayne State University Press, 1982), pp. 29–16.)| false