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Institutions, Markets and Men's and Women's Wage Inequality: Evidence from Ukraine

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Author Info

  • Ganguli, Ina

    ()
    (Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Terrell, Katherine

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

Ukraine, the second largest country in the former Soviet bloc, is facing the challenge of rallying popular support for major structural reforms. As in most developing economies, the "Orange Revolution" government's success will depend on its ability to keep income distribution within an acceptable range. This paper is the first to make use of recent methodological developments in Lemieux's (2002) decomposition method to advance our understanding of the determinants of wage inequality in developing and transition economies. With an eye toward future policy, we apply this approach to the first large longitudinal micro data set for Ukraine – the Ukrainian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (ULMS) – to determine the extent to which the introduction of markets and new institutions affected men's and women's wage inequality between 1986 and 2003. We find that wage inequality rises substantially for both men and women. Applying the Lemieux method, we show that market forces drive the increase in inequality through changes in wage premiums, but the changes in the composition of the labor force (selection) generally contribute to a reduction in wage inequality; the exception is that changes in women's labor composition contribute to an increase in inequality in the top half of their wage distribution. Finally, changes in unobservable characteristics work toward increasing inequality for both men and women. The institution of the minimum wage plays an important role in lowering the growth in inequality, more for women than for men. Going forward, if the government wants to ameliorate the effects of market forces on wage inequality, it should recognize the importance of maintaining the value of, and compliance with, the minimum wage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1724.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Comparative Economics, 2006, 34 (2), 200-227
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1724

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Keywords: transition; semi-parametric estimation; inequality; gender; Ukraine; wages;

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References

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  1. Atkinson,Anthony Barnes & Micklewright,John, 1992. "Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Distribution of Income," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521433297, Fall.
  2. Orazem, Peter F. & Vodopivec, Milan, 1997. "Value of human capital in transition to market: Evidence from Slovenia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 893-903, April.
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  7. Thomas Lemieux, 2002. "Decomposing changes in wage distributions: a unified approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 646-688, November.
  8. Simon Commander & Andrei Tolstopiatenko & Ruslan Yemtsov, 1999. "Channels of redistribution: Inequality and poverty in the Russian transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 411-447, July.
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  11. Adamchik, Vera A. & Bedi, Arjun S., 2000. "Wage differentials between the public and the private sectors: evidence from an economy in transition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-224, March.
  12. Tito Boeri & Katherine Terrell, 2002. "Institutional Determinants of Labor Reallocation in Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 51-76, Winter.
  13. Newell, Andrew T., 2001. "The Distribution of Wages in Transition Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 267, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Jolliffe, Dean & Campos, Nauro F., 2005. "Does market liberalisation reduce gender discrimination? Econometric evidence from Hungary, 1986-1998," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, February.
  15. Garner, Thesia I & Terrell, Katherine, 1998. "A Gini Decomposition Analysis of Inequality in the Czech and Slovak Republics during the Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1897, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek & Mark Lewis, 2002. "Privatization in Ukraine," IMF Policy Discussion Papers 02/7, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
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