Public Employment and Compensation Reform During Times of Fiscal Consolidation


Lorenzo Forni ; Natalija Novta

Publication Date:

October 23, 2014

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


This paper compiles and compares recent and past measures introduced to contain the public wage bill in a number of emerging and advanced economies to assess their effectiveness in bringing down expenditure in a sustained way. In the aftermath of the Great Recession a number of countries have approved measures on the wage bill as part of fiscal consolidation efforts. These recent episodes are compared to past cases implemented in advanced economies over the period 1979–2009. Findings suggest that public wage bill consolidation episodes pre and post 2009 are similar in many respects. Moreover, typically countries that were able to achieve more sustained reductions in the wage bill have implemented to larger extent structural measures, and/or these measures were accompanied with substantial social dialogue and consensus.


Working Paper No. 2014/192



Publication Date:

October 23, 2014



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