Thursday, December 2, 2010

Who Wants to Work for Bizzaro Robin Hood?

In response to my post regarding the wage and benefit discrepancies between public and private workers, Hume asks “Does this mean there is greater incentive for the more qualified to pursue ‘public’ work?”

At first blush, the obvious answer seems to be “yes”. Upon closer inspection, however, I’m not sure “yes” is absolutely correct.

Many other factors need to be considered beyond average wage and benefit compensation, including, the “risk/reward” scenario (perhaps less risk of losing a public sector job, although that’s debatable, versus the potential gigantic reward of entrepreneurial endeavor in the private sector) and a desire to not work in a bureaucratic environment.

I think the incentives are viewed differently by different individuals. I will say, though, the greater average total compensation package certainly does not act as a deterrent to public sector work for those not otherwise predisposed against it.

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