Economic sector, public employment, and income attainment in France

Kevin T. Leicht, Maurice A. Garnier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of the structural approach to the study of social stratification suggests that economic, organizational, and personal characteristics may be defined as resources that workers can grasp in order to improve their relative position in the stratification system. Recent emphasis on the role of the state in influencing the environment where negotiations between employers and workers take place has led us to examine income attainment in a country where state intervention is fairly extensive (France). We examine the ability of the state to alter the effects of relevant individual and structural characteristics on income attainment using a sample of 16,066 employed adults surveyed by the French Census Bureau in 1970. Our empirical results support several conclusions. First, the intervention of the state in France is of particular benefit to women, though men continue to receive greater returns to managerial authority, especially in the service sector of the French economy where public sector jobs are most prevalent. Further, the intervention of the state does not eliminate the economic benefits men receive from social origins in France. We conclude that the state has benefited women's attempts to gain a greater share of the economic "pie," but that the distinctiveness of French culture continues to play an important role in determining stratification outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-134
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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