Public versus private sector placement and gender‐based effects are examined as the prime generator of wage variations among men and women Israeli managers in Israel. The macro‐sociological analysis of economic sectors, organizational theory and human capital effects are integrated to predict public/private sector variations in wages, taking account of managerial level and gender effects. Using demographic, human capital characteristics and managerial level position from a representative sample of 778 Israeli public and private sector employees, it is shown that wage variations are generated by initial placement in the public/private sector; higher returns to work hours, education and managerial position in the private sector, and “manhood” which increases returns to wages in both sectors taking account of managerial level variations. These results suggest that public/private sector wage differences are only partially explained by occupational and managerial level variations: taking into account the above variables, gender remains the major determinant of wages for both private and public sector employees.
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