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World Bank Bureaucracy Lab: World Wide Bureaucracy Indicators

Nov 11, 2019





The World Bank Bureaucracy Lab has recently published a new open access data set, focusing on public sector employment and wages, called the World Wide Bureaucracy Indicators (WWBI). The dataset characterizes the private sector and the public sector labor market, and provides comparisons between them on over 80 indicators. It can help researchers and practitioners gain a better understanding of the personnel dimensions of state capability, the footprint of the public sector on the overall labor market, and the fiscal implications of the government wage bill.

Some of the things that we’ve learned through the dataset:

  • Globally, 39% of all employees with tertiary education work in the public sector
  • Women make 88% of male wages in the public sector, vs. 81% in the private sector
  • The public-sector pays a higher wage than the private sector for similar jobs, in 76% of the countries
  • Secondary school graduates working in the public sector earn significantly more than their private sector colleagues in 54 percent of countries, while public sector employees with post‐secondary education earn more than their private sector counterparts in only 24 percent of countries.

The dataset covers 115 countries, from 2000 to 2016, and includes 89 indicators. Some examples of the indicators are:

  • Wage bill as share of GDP and government expenditure
  • Public and private sector employment as share of total employment
  • Gender pay gap
  • Public sector wage premium
  • Share of workers in public and private sector with insurance social security, and union membership

On the dataset website you can compare countries with countries in the same region or the same income level, through the ‘country profile’ option.

For more information, feel free to contact wvanacker@worldbank.org.

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