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Institutions, markets and men's and women's wage inequality: Evidence from Ukraine


  • Ganguli, Ina
  • Terrell, Katherine


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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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:34:y:2006:i:2:p:200-227

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hartmut Lehmann & Alexander Muravyev & Klaus Zimmermann, 2012. "The Ukrainian longitudinal monitoring survey: towards a better understanding of labor markets in transition," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-15, December.
    2. Maksim Yemelyanau, 2009. "Inequality in Belarus from 1995 to 2007," BEROC Working Paper Series 01, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC).
    3. Amelie F. Constant & Martin Kahanec & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "The Russian-Ukrainian Political Divide," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(6), pages 97-109, November.
    4. Eleonora Matteazzi & Ariane Pailhé & Anne Solaz, 2013. "Does Part-Time Employment Widen the Gender Wage Gap? Evidence from Twelve European Countries," Working Papers 293, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    5. Stepán Jurajda & Katherine Terrell, 2009. "Regional unemployment and human capital in transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(2), pages 241-274, April.
    6. Bakis, Ozan & Polat, Sezgin, 2013. "Wage Inequality in Turkey: 2002-2010," GIAM Working Papers 13-9, Galatasaray University Economic Research Center.
    7. Olena Y. Nizalova & Maria Vyshnya, 2010. "Evaluation of the impact of the Mother and Infant Health Project in Ukraine," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(S1), pages 107-125, September.
    8. Kecmanovic, Milica, 2012. "Men's wage inequality in Serbia's transition," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 65-86.
    9. Tamar Khitarishvili, 2016. "Gender Dimensions of Inequality in the Countries of Central Asia, South Caucasus, and Western CIS," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_858, Levy Economics Institute.
    10. Chi, Wei & Li, Bo & Yu, Qiumei, 2007. "Decomposition of Changes in Earnings Inequality in China: A Distributional Approach," MPRA Paper 3806, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Amelie F. Constant & Martin Kahanec & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2012. "The Russian–Ukrainian earnings divide," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 20(1), pages 1-35, January.
    12. Brück, Tilman & Danzer, Alexander M. & Muravyev, Alexander & Weisshaar, Natalia, 2010. "Poverty during transition: Household survey evidence from Ukraine," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 123-145, June.
    13. Natalia Danzer, 2013. "Job Satisfaction and Self-Selection into the Public or Private Sector: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," ifo Working Paper Series 169, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    14. Tilman Brück & Alexander M. Danzer & Alexander Muravyev & Natalia Weißhaar, 2007. "Determinants of Poverty during Transition: Household Survey Evidence from Ukraine," ESCIRRU Working Papers 2, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    15. Xiaohua Li & Yaohui Zhao & Lili Lu, 2008. "Effects of Education on Earnings Inequality in Urban China: 1988-2003," Working Papers PMMA 2008-09, PEP-PMMA.
    16. 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).
    17. BARGAIN Olivier & DOORLEY Karina & VAN KERM Philippe, 2016. "Minimum wages and the gender gap in pay. Evidence from the UK and Ireland," LISER Working Paper Series 2016-02, LISER.
    18. Lukiyanova, A., 2011. "Wage Inequality in Russian Economic Transition (1991–2008): Stylized Facts and Explanations," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 12, pages 124-147.
    19. Sergey Kapelyuk, 2015. "The effect of minimum wage on poverty," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 23(2), pages 389-423, April.
    20. Olena Nizalova, 2014. "Inequality in Total Returns to Work in Ukraine: Taking A Closer Look at Workplace (Dis)amenities," Discussion Papers 52, Kyiv School of Economics.
    21. Simona Ferraro & Jaanika Merikull & Karsten Staehr, 2016. "Minimum wages and the wage distribution in Estonia," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2016-6, Bank of Estonia, revised 19 Aug 2016.
    22. Maksim Yemelyanau, 2008. "Inequality in Belarus from 1995 to 2005," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp356, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    23. Chris SAKELLARIOU, 2009. "Changing Wage Distributions and the Evolution of Wage Inequality in Indonesia:1994 – 2007," Economic Growth Centre Working Paper Series 0906, Nanyang Technological University, School of Social Sciences, Economic Growth Centre.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination


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