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East Germany’s Wage Gap: A non-parametric decomposition based on establishment characteristics

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  • Bernd Görzig
  • Martin Gornig
  • Axel Werwatz

Abstract

East German wages have been below the West German wage level since unification. Moreover, the East-West wage gap implied by the contractual wages specified in collective wage agreements is drifting ever further apart from the wage gap in terms of effective wages. This paper looks at the role of establishment-specific factors — such as sectoral affiliation and size of the labour force — in this process. A non-parametric decomposition that has played a prominent role in the gender wage-gap literature is applied to breakdown the East-West wage gap into its constituent components. Using establishment data from the German employment statistics, the paper demonstrates that the divergence between wage agreements and effective wages is probably not a consequence of a massive escape from collective wage agreements, or the intense use of opt-out clauses in such agreements in East Germany. Rather, the shift of East Germany’s economic structure towards lower-paying types of companies has caused the lagging behind in the adjustment of wages.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2006-044.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2006-044

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Keywords: Regional Wage Gap; Decomposition; Nonparametric Regression;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bernd Görzig & Martin Gornig & Axel Werwatz, 2006. "Firm Specific Wage Spread in Germany - Decomposition of regional differences in inter firm wage dispersion," SFB 649 Discussion Papers, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany SFB649DP2006-045, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  2. Rainer, Helmut & Siedler, Thomas, 2009. "Does democracy foster trust?," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 19809, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Kohn, Karsten & Antonczyk, Dirk, 2011. "The Aftermath of Reunification: Sectoral Transition, Gender, and Rising Wage Inequality in East Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 5708, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Helmut Rainer & Thomas Siedler, 2006. "Does Democracy Foster Trust? Evidence from the German Reunification," Economics Discussion Papers, University of Essex, Department of Economics 613, University of Essex, Department of Economics.

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