Analyzing the Link Between Compensation and the Quit Decisions of Civil Service Employees

  • Larry W. Lacy

Abstract

Federal civilian managers must compete in the same labor markets as do private employers. Federal managers, however, have far less freedom than do their counterparts in the for-profit sector in offering the compensation necessary to attract and retain qualified workers. Detailed civil service guidelines stipulate the grade, or rank, that any person can receive for the training and experience required for any particular job. Similarly, each grade is limited to a fairly narrow salary range. Where someone falls within this range depends on his years of experience and, for supervisors under “merit pay,” his performance. As a consequence, even the most talented inexperienced person must start at the bottom before climbing the ladder to higher paying jobs in the career Federal service. For experienced workers, rewards for outstanding achievement are, with a few exceptions, a small percentage of regular salary.

Keywords

Income Stake 

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References

  1. Borjas, George J., “Labor Turnover in the U.S. Federal Bureaucracy,” Journal of Public Economies, 19, (1982), pp. 187–202,CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Long, James E., “Are Government Workers Overpaid? Alternative Evidence,” The Journal of Human Resources XVII, (Winter, 1982), pp. 123–131.Google Scholar
  3. Systems Research and Applications Corporation, “Retention of DoD Civilians,” Contract No. MDA903-83-C-0376 (April 1985).Google Scholar
  4. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Handbook of Labor Statistics, Bulletin 2175 (December 1983).Google Scholar
  5. Utgoff, Kathleen C., “Compensation Levels and Quit Rates in the Public Sector,” The Journal of Human Resources XVII, (Summer 1983), pp. 394–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry W. Lacy
    • 1
  1. 1.Office of Secretary of Defense (FM&P)USA

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