The Distinctive Features of Public Sector in Europe: A Comparative Study Based on the Social Morphology of Wage Earners

In: Comparative Sociology
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  • 1 Centre National de la recherche scientifique, University of Paris 8, cresppa-csu, 59/61 rue Pouchet 75017 Paris, France
  • 2 Centre national de la recherche scientifique, University Lille Nord de France, ceraps, 1 place Déliot, 69000 Lille, France
  • 3 Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Ecole des Hautes études en sciences sociales, iris (ehess), 190 avenue de France, 75013 Paris, France

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This article aims to point out that there are still substantial differences between public and private workers. Using the Eurostat Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community, we define the public workers as those who are employed in Administration, Health and Education. The measure of targeted jobs is provided by the Labour Force Survey (lfs) which is a large sample survey among private households. By following this approach, we can present several significant results. In every European country, public workers have an average aggregate employment tenure higher than private workers, a higher proportion of women and a higher proportion of high skilled workers. Beyond these global differences, we point out that the divide between public and private sector is differently shaped, according to the country and to the social status.

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    For an exception, see Knutsen (2005).

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