Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The "Disaster" of Federal Furloughs? Not So Fast

Seems that there's more than "my truth/your truth" evidence that Feds are fat-pay folks.

The question of whether federal workers are overpaid is often portrayed in the media as unanswerable, with each side of the debate citing its own numbers. In fact, the academic evidence is much more one-sided: Generally speaking, federal workers do receive higher salaries than similar private employees; individuals changing jobs receive bigger pay increases when their new job is with the federal government; federal employees quit less than private workers; and private workers line up to get federal jobs.*

So if there are "cataclysmic, God-awful, horrible, unimaginable" Fed furloughs--or mass firings--then there are plenty of competent and willing citizens who can take the jobs, do them well, and be happy with a LOT less pay.

Econ 101.

HT: Hit/Run

*The study was done for The Weekly Standard and used both "human capital" and "fixed effects" comparisons. The Fed wage premium ranged from 8% to 22%. In general, the widest wage-spread was at the lower levels; the spread narrowed toward the top of the pyramid.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yah. Just like Reagan, let's fire them all. That would save a ton of money.

John Foust said...

Like your dreams of suburban insurrection, I'd love to hear how you'd implement it, and the effects on private business.

You claim the goverment is paying too much for those workers, and that we could terminate them all, drop the value of the compensation package, and private-sector or unemployed but qualified workers would fill the jobs. So you'd drop the compensation to match the private sector? What guarantees the movement and interest of the labor market?

Although some metric might judge the job tasks to be the same, would the labor market necessarily judge the jobs to be the same?

After all, government services generally can't pick their customers. Maybe I don't want to work for a place like that. Maybe I like businesses that are more agile and private-sector. Maybe I don't like some other job requirement that goes along with government jobs.

If I'm driven solely by pay, why wasn't I excited and enticed by a higher-paying government job last year before your mass firings and labor relocation scheme?

Anonymous said...

The study was conducted by the Weekly Standard? Well, then, that settles the debate!

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