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When Does Transition Increase the Gender Wage Gap? An Application to Belarus

  • Pastore, Francesco

    ()

    (University of Naples II)

  • Verashchagina, Alina

    ()

    (University of Siena)

This paper suggests an analytical framework to analyse the joint evolution of female participation and wages across countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Former Soviet Union (FSU), of which Belarus is a particular case. In CEE, female participation has reduced relatively more than wages, due to greater wage rigidity; in the FSU, wages have reduced more than participation, due to labour hoarding practices. In Belarus, only wages adjust, since (mainly state owned) firms tend to largely maintain their entire workforce. Underneath slow transition and remarkably stable female participation rates (at over 80%), the unconditional gender gap in log hourly wages has increased by a half, while that in log of net and total monthly wages has more than doubled over almost a decade (1996-2004). The Juhn, Murphy and Pierce (1991) decomposition suggests that the deterioration of women wages is caused by negative changes in observed characteristics (due to horizontal segregation) and in the remuneration for those characteristics. Instead, very bland changes in the residual wage distribution tended to reduce (not to increase) the gender wage gap: in fact, women have benefited both of changes in the degree of wage inequality and of gains in the mean female rank in the male residual distribution.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2796.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Transition, 2011, 19 (2), 333-369
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2796
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  1. 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.
  2. Constantin G. Ogloblin, 1999. "The Gender Earnings Differential in the Russian Transition Economy," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(4), pages 602-627, July.
  3. Stěpán Jurajda, 2005. "Gender Segregation and Wage Gap: An East-West Comparison," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 598-607, 04/05.
  4. Juan J. Dolado & Vanesa Llorens, 2004. "Gender Wage Gaps By Education In Spain: Glass Floors Vs. Glass Ceilings," Working Papers wp2004_03, CEMFI.
  5. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  6. Francesco Pastore & Alina Verashchagina, 2005. "The Gender Wage Gap in Belarus," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 12(3), pages 497-511, December.
  7. Munich, Daniel & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 2005. "Is women's human capital valued more by markets than by planners?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 278-299, June.
  8. Milan Vodopivec & Peter F. Orazem, 2000. "Male-female differences in labor market outcomes during the early transition to market: The cases of Estonia and Slovenia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(2), pages 283-303.
  9. Jana Stefanová Lauerová & Katherine Terrell, 2007. "What Drives Gender Differences in Unemployment?," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(1), pages 128-155, March.
  10. Jurajda, Stepan, 2003. "Gender wage gap and segregation in enterprises and the public sector in late transition countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 199-222, June.
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