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Institutions, Markets and Men's and Women's Wage Inequality: Evidence from Ukraine

Listed author(s):
  • Ganguli, Ina

    ()

    (Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Terrell, Katherine

    (University of Michigan)

Ukraine, the second largest country in the former Soviet bloc, is facing the challenge of rallying popular support for major structural reforms. As in most developing economies, the "Orange Revolution" government's success will depend on its ability to keep income distribution within an acceptable range. This paper is the first to make use of recent methodological developments in Lemieux's (2002) decomposition method to advance our understanding of the determinants of wage inequality in developing and transition economies. With an eye toward future policy, we apply this approach to the first large longitudinal micro data set for Ukraine – the Ukrainian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (ULMS) – to determine the extent to which the introduction of markets and new institutions affected men's and women's wage inequality between 1986 and 2003. We find that wage inequality rises substantially for both men and women. Applying the Lemieux method, we show that market forces drive the increase in inequality through changes in wage premiums, but the changes in the composition of the labor force (selection) generally contribute to a reduction in wage inequality; the exception is that changes in women's labor composition contribute to an increase in inequality in the top half of their wage distribution. Finally, changes in unobservable characteristics work toward increasing inequality for both men and women. The institution of the minimum wage plays an important role in lowering the growth in inequality, more for women than for men. Going forward, if the government wants to ameliorate the effects of market forces on wage inequality, it should recognize the importance of maintaining the value of, and compliance with, the minimum wage.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1724.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Publication status: published in: Journal of Comparative Economics, 2006, 34 (2), 200-227
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1724
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  4. Adamchik, Vera A. & Bedi, Arjun S., 2000. "Wage differentials between the public and the private sectors: evidence from an economy in transition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 203-224, March.
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  8. 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 410-442, June.
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  13. 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.
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  16. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 1998. "Winners and Losers in Russia's Economic Transition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1094-1116, December.
  17. Atkinson,Anthony Barnes & Micklewright,John, 1992. "Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Distribution of Income," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521433297, December.
  18. Biewen, Martin, 2002. "Bootstrap inference for inequality, mobility and poverty measurement," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 317-342, June.
  19. Dean Jolliffe & Nauro F. Campos, 2004. "Does Market Liberalisation Reduce Gender Discrimination? Econometric Evidence from Hungary, 1986???1998," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-678, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  20. Garner, Thesia I & Terrell, Katherine, 1998. "A Gini Decomposition Analysis of Inequality in the Czech and Slovak Republics during the Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1897, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Elizabeth Brainerd, 2000. "Women in Transition: Changes in Gender Wage Differentials in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 138-162, October.
  22. Orazem, Peter F. & Vodopivec, Milan, 1997. "Value of human capital in transition to market: Evidence from Slovenia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 893-903, April.
  23. Jan Rutkowski, 1996. "High skills pay off: the changing wage structure during economic transition in Poland," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 4(1), pages 89-112, 05.
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