IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Self-selection and wages during volatile transition


  • Dimova, Ralitza
  • Gang, Ira N.


Using data for 1995, 1997 and 2001 and a sophisticated selectivity correction econometric methodology, this paper explores human capital allocation and returns in four labor market sectors in Bulgaria. Our results indicate that while in the aftermath of structural reform highly productive laborers undertook self-employment, the private sector failed to develop along the high skill and high return fringes of the economy. Our results raise questions about the success of structural reform, and stress the need to adequately account for the impact of self-selection based on both observed and unobserved skills in the assessment of returns to human capital.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Dimova, Ralitza & Gang, Ira N., 2007. "Self-selection and wages during volatile transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 612-629, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:35:y:2007:i:3:p:612-629

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel Münich & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 2005. "Returns to Human Capital Under The Communist Wage Grid and During the Transition to a Market Economy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 100-123, February.
    2. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-827, August.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Olivier J. Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition in Central Europe," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 283-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
    5. François Bourguignon & Martin Fournier & Marc Gurgand, 2007. "Selection Bias Corrections Based On The Multinomial Logit Model: Monte Carlo Comparisons," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 174-205, February.
    6. Jennifer Hunt, 2002. "The Transition in East Germany: When Is a Ten-Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 148-169, January.
    7. Ellen R. Rissman, 2003. "Self-employment as an alternative to unemployment," Working Paper Series WP-03-34, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    8. Edward J. Bird & Johannes Schwarze & Gert G. Wagner, 1994. "Wage Effects of the Move toward Free Markets in East Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 390-400, April.
    9. Fleisher, Belton M., 2005. "Returns to schooling in transition: The Chinese, European, and Russian experiences," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 223-226, June.
    10. Rutkowski, Jan J., 1999. "Labor markets and poverty in Bulgaria," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 20817, The World Bank.
    11. 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.
    12. Earle, John S. & Sakova, Zuzana, 2000. "Business start-ups or disguised unemployment? Evidence on the character of self-employment from transition economies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 575-601, September.
    13. Bhaumik, Sumon K. & Dimova, Ralitza & Nugent, Jeffrey B., 2006. "Pulls, Pushes and Entitlement Failures in Labor Markets: Does the State of Development Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 2258, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-535, June.
    15. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-512, March.
    16. Falaris, Evangelos M., 2004. "Private and public sector wages in Bulgaria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 56-72, March.
    17. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    18. Philippe Aghion & Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition Central Europe," NBER Working Papers 4736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Dimova, Ralitza & Gang, Ira N. & Landon-Lane, John, 2005. "The Informal Sector During Crisis and Transition," WIDER Working Paper Series 018, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    20. Jones, Derek C. & Ilayperuma Simon, Kosali, 2005. "Wage determination under plan and early transition: Bulgarian evidence using matched employer-employee data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 227-243, June.
    21. Jeffrey B. Miller & Stefan Petranov, 2000. "The First Wave of Mass Privatization in Bulgaria and its Immediate Aftermath," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(1), pages 225-250, March.
    22. V. Kerry Smith & Mary F. Evans & Hyun Kim & Donald H. Taylor, 2004. "Do the Near-Elderly Value Mortality Risks Differently?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 423-429, February.
    23. Michael Landesmann & Robert Stehrer, 2002. "Trade Structures, Quality Differentiation and Technical Barriers in CEE-EU Trade," wiiw Research Reports 282, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    24. Catherine Y. Co & Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2005. "Self-Employment and Wage Earning in Hungary," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 150-165, May.
    25. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme L, 1990. "Self-selection and the Distribution of Hourly Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 329-363, January.
    26. Gang, Ira N. & Stuart, Robert C., 1997. "What difference does a country make? Earnings by Soviets in the Soviet Union and in the United States," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 345-360.
    27. François Bourguignon & Martin Fournier & Marc Gurgand, 2002. "Selection Bias Correction Based on the Multinomial Logit Model," Working Papers 2002-04, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    28. Rutkowski, Jan, 2003. "Why is unemployment so high in Bulgaria?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3017, The World Bank.
    29. Dobbelaere, Sabien, 2004. "Ownership, firm size and rent sharing in Bulgaria," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 165-189, April.
    30. Robert S. Chase, 1998. "Markets for Communist Human Capital: Returns to Education and Experience in the Czech Republic and Slovakia," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(3), pages 401-423, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Petr Huber & Ulugbek Rahimov, 2014. "Formal and Informal Sector Wage Differences in Transition Economies: Evidence from Tajikistan," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2014-48, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    2. repec:fau:fauart:v:67:y:2017:i:2:p:140-164 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Tamar Khitarishvili, 2018. "Gender Pay Gaps in the Former Soviet Union: A Review of the Evidence," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_899, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. Ma, Xinxin & Li, Shi, 2016. "Economic Transition and the Determinants of Self-employment in Urban China: 2007-2013," CEI Working Paper Series 2016-3, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Owusu, Victor & Kakraba, Isaac, 2015. "Examining Self-Selection and the Impacts of Integrated Pest Management Adoption on Yield and Gross Margin: Evidence from Ghana," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212606, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Atamanov, Aziz & Berg, Marrit van den, 2011. "International migration and local employment: analysis of self-selection and earnings in Tajikistan," MERIT Working Papers 047, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Dimova, Ralitza & Nordman, Christophe Jalil & Roubaud, François, 2008. "Allocation of Labour in Urban West Africa: Implication for Development Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 3558, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:35:y:2007:i:3:p:612-629. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.