Date of Award

Winter 2019

Document Type

Dissertation Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Mark W. Davis, Ph.D., MPA

Committee Member

Michelle L. Wade, Ph.D., MPA

Committee Member

Kristen B. Crossney, Ph.D.


This study presents a national examination and comparison of compensations for shared occupations between the private and public sectors (federal, state, and local governments) in the United States to determine if the ownership (public or private) has any effect on the frequency of maximum mean total compensation per hour (MTCPH) and maximum mean hourly wage (MHW). In addition, this research delves into whether higher concentrations of these maximum pay occupations vary based on sub-categories (private sector and state and local government) to find if there are any characteristics of certain occupations and ownerships that produce maximum pay based on the data, current comparable job openings, and supporting literature. This research finds that a higher frequency of maximum pay in government jobs was not supported by the data. Moreover, several sub-categories within each sector showed higher concentrations of occupations with maximum pay and certain occupations with maximum pay warrant further study. The findings also negate the stereotype of the overpaid and underworked bureaucrat.