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Winners and Losers in Transition: Returns to Education, Experience, and Gender in Slovenia

  • Orazem, Peter
  • Vodopivec, Milan

This article, using an unusually rich data set on Slovenian workers over the 1987-91 period, explores changes in the structure of wages and employment produced by transition to a market economy. Employment and real wages fell dramatically over the period, but the losses were borne disproportionately by the least skilled. Across all sectors of the economy, relative wages and employment rose for the most-educated workers. Women gained in comparison with men, primarily because women occupied sectors less adversely affected by the transition. Pension policies, which encouraged retirement, are shown to have drastically reduced employment of experienced workers and helped contribute to rising returns to skill. Increases in returns to education and experience contributed to rising wage inequality, but the variance of wages increased for workers with identical skills as well. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 5270.

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Date of creation: 01 May 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in World Bank Economic Review, May 1995,, pp. 201-230
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:5270
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Edward J. Bird & Johannes Schwarze & Gert G. Wagner, 1992. "The Changing Value of Human Capital in Eastern Europe: Lessons from the GDR," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 55, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Mattila, J. Peter & Orazem, Peter & Weikum, Sherry K., 1992. "Comparable Worth and Factor Point Pay Analysis in State Government," Staff General Research Papers 10840, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  4. Boris Pleskovic & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1994. "Political Independence and Economic Reform in Slovenia," NBER Chapters, in: The Transition in Eastern Europe, Volume 1, pages 191-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
  6. Alan Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1992. "A Comparative Analysis of East and West German Labor Markets: Before and After Unification," Working Papers 686, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1992. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Learning from International Comparisons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 533-38, May.
  8. Alan B. Krueger & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Reflections on the Inter-Industry Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 1968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Vodopivec, Milan, 1992. "The effects of democratic determination of wages : theory and evidence from self-managed firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 971, The World Bank.
  10. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
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