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The Russian–Ukrainian earnings divide

  • Amelie F. Constant
  • Martin Kahanec
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann

Ethnic differences are often considered to be powerful sources of diverse economic behaviour. In this paper, we investigate whether and how ethnicity affects Ukrainian labour market outcomes. Using micro data from the Ukrainian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (ULMS) and Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition of earnings, we find a persistent and rising labour market divide between ethnic Russians and Ukrainians throughout Ukraine’s transition era. We establish that language rather than nationality is the key factor behind this ethnic premium favouring Russians. Our findings further document that this premium is larger among males than among females.

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Article provided by The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in its journal Economics of Transition.

Volume (Year): 20 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 1-35

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Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:20:y:2012:i:1:p:1-35
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  1. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  2. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
  3. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Peter, Klara Sabirianova, 2004. "Returns to Schooling in Russia and Ukraine: A Semiparametric Approach to Cross-Country Comparative Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1325, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. H. Lehmann & N. Pignatti & J. Wadsworth, 2005. "The Incidence and Cost of Job Loss in the Ukrainian Labor Market," Working Papers 545, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  5. Ganguli, Ina & Terrell, Katherine, 2005. "Wage Ceilings and Floors: The Gender Gap in Ukraine's Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 1776, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Constant, Amelie F. & Massey, Douglas S., 2003. "Labor Market Segmentation and the Earnings of German Guestworkers," IZA Discussion Papers 774, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Andrew Tiffin, 2006. "Ukraine; The Cost of Weak Institutions," IMF Working Papers 06/167, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Ganguli, Ina & Terrell, Katherine, 2006. "Institutions, markets and men's and women's wage inequality: Evidence from Ukraine," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 200-227, June.
  9. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  10. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
  11. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  12. Card, David & Lemieux, Thomas, 1994. "Changing Wage Structure and Black-White Wage Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 29-33, May.
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