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Self-Selection And Wages During Volatile Transition

  • Ralitza Dimova


  • Ira N. Gang


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.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University in its series CEDI Discussion Paper Series with number 06-03.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:06-03
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  1. Aghion, P. & Blanchard, O.J., 1993. "On the Speed of Transition in Central Europe," Working papers 93-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, 05.
  4. Ellen Rissman, 2003. "Self-employment as an alternative to unemployment," Working Paper Series WP-03-34, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. 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.
  6. 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, 02.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
  11. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  12. Rutkowski, Jan, 2003. "Why is unemployment so high in Bulgaria?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3017, The World Bank.
  13. Münich, Daniel & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 2000. "Returns to Human Capital under the Communist Wage Grid and During the Transition to a Market Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 122, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Falaris, Evangelos M., 2004. "Private and public sector wages in Bulgaria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 56-72, March.
  15. Tito Boeri & Katherine Terrell, 2001. "Institutional Determinants of Labor Reallocation in Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 384, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  16. 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 S329-63, January.
  17. Dobbelaere, Sabien, 2004. "Ownership, firm size and rent sharing in Bulgaria," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 165-189, April.
  18. François Bourguignon & Martin Fournier & Marc Gurgand, 2002. "Selection Bias Correction Based on the Multinomial Logit Model," Working Papers 2002-04, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  22. 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.
  23. 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 808-27, August.
  24. Dimova, Ralitza & Gang, Ira N. & Landon-Lane, John, 2005. "The Informal Sector During Crisis and Transition," Working Paper Series RP2005/18, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  25. Rutkowski, Jan J., 1999. "Labor markets and poverty in Bulgaria," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20817, The World Bank.
  26. 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.
  27. Robert S. Chase, 1998. "Markets for communist human capital: Returns to education and experience in the Czech republic and Slovakia," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(3), pages 401-423, April.
  28. 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.
  29. Philippe Aghion & Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition Central Europe," NBER Working Papers 4736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
  31. 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).
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