Texto para Discussão, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA) 1578
This paper discusses the evolution of public employment data among different countries since the end of the nineteenth century and through the twentieth century, with special emphasis to the period after the Second World War (after 1945). The description of the international socio-economic environment will stress the role played by public employment in the constitution of Welfare States, during post-WW II. This paper also makes a brief international comparison between the international case and the Brazilian, with respect to public employment. This comparison encompasses the European and other developed countries, and also of Latin American countries - which socioeconomic reality is closer to the Brazilian case. The international comparison shows that, in general, in the developed countries the public employment as a share of total occupation is higher than in underdeveloped countries. Moreover, in developed countries the ratio of public employment salaries to total of public expenditure (and in relation to the GDP - gross domestic product) is higher than in underdeveloped countries. Furthermore, it is argued that those quantitative indicators are only meaningful when examined together with other political, social and historical factors, as well as the economic and sectorial elements, that affect the level and the profile of public employment in each country.