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Returns to Human Capital Under the Communist Wage Grid and During the Transition to a Market Economy

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  • Münich, Daniel
  • Svejnar, Jan
  • Terrell, Katherine

Abstract

Under communism, workers had their wages set according to a centrally-determined wage grid. In this paper we use new micro data on men to estimate returns to human capital under the communist wage grid and during the transition to a market economy. We use data from the Czech Republic because it is a leading transition economy in which the communist grid remained intact until the very end of the communist regime. We demonstrate that for decades the communist wage grid maintained an extremely low rate of return on education, but that the return increased dramatically and equally in all ownership categories of firms during the transition. Our estimates also indicate that men's wage-experience profile was concave in both regimes and on average it did not change from the communist to the transition period. However, the de novo private firms display a more concave profile than SOEs and public administration. Contrary to earlier studies, we show that men's inter-industry wage structure changed substantially between 1989 and 1996.

Suggested Citation

  • Münich, Daniel & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 1999. "Returns to Human Capital Under the Communist Wage Grid and During the Transition to a Market Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2332, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1995. "A Comparative Analysis of East and West German Labor Markets: Before and After Unification," NBER Chapters,in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 405-446 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. James Heckman & Anne Layne-Farrar & Petra Todd, 1995. "Does Measured School Quality Really Matter? An Examination of the Earnings-Quality Relationship," NBER Working Papers 5274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters,in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 76-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hungerford, Thomas & Solon, Gary, 1987. "Sheepskin Effects in the Returns to Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 175-177, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Communism; Human Capital; Labour; Transition; Wages;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General

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