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The Transition in East Germany: When Is a Ten-Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?

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  • Jennifer Hunt

    (University of Montreal)

Abstract

The gender wage gap in East Germany has narrowed by 10 percentage points in transition, but women have experienced much more severe employment difficulties than men. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel for 199094, I show that on balance women have lost relative to men. Almost half the relative wage gain is due to exits from employment of the low skilled, who are disproportionately women. The female employment decline is not primarily voluntary: more than half the gender gap in the hazard rate from employment reflects a general fall in demand for low-skilled workers. Reduced child care plays no role.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:20:y:2002:i:1:p:148-169
    DOI: 10.1086/323935
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "Post-Unification Wage Growth in East Germany," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 190-195, February.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems

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