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


  • Pastore, Francesco

    () (Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli)

  • Verashchagina, Alina

    () (Marche Polytechnic University)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Pastore, Francesco & Verashchagina, Alina, 2007. "When Does Transition Increase the Gender Wage Gap? An Application to Belarus," IZA Discussion Papers 2796, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2796

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Jana Stefanová Lauerová & Katherine Terrell, 2007. "What Drives Gender Differences in Unemployment?," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 49(1), pages 128-155, March.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Juan J. Dolado & Vanesa Llorens, 2004. "Gender Wage Gaps By Education In Spain: Glass Floors Vs. Glass Ceilings," Working Papers wp2004_03, CEMFI.
    9. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Tamar Khitarishvili, 2016. "Two tales of contraction: gender wage gap in Georgia before and after the 2008 crisis," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, December.
    2. Jaanika Merikull & Pille Mõtsmees, 2015. "Do you get what you ask? The gender gap in desired and realised wages," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2014-9, Bank of Estonia, revised 20 Jan 2015.
    3. repec:ilo:ilowps:423895 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Francesco Pastore, 2009. "School-to-Work Transitions in Mongolia," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 6(2), pages 245-264, December.
    5. Danijel Nestic, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gap in Croatia – Estimating the Impact of Differing Rewards by Means of Counterfactual Distributions," Croatian Economic Survey, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, vol. 12(1), pages 83-119, April.
    6. Elizabeth Brainerd, 2010. "Human Development in Eastern Europe and the CIS Since 1990," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-16, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    7. Pastore, Francesco & Verashchagina, Alina, 2008. "The Determinants of Female Labour Supply in Belarus," IZA Discussion Papers 3457, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Maksim Yemelyanau & Aliaksandr Amialchuk & Mir Ali, 2012. "Evidence from the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident: The Effect on Health, Education, and Labor Market Outcomes in Belarus," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 1-20, March.
    9. Pastore, Francesco & Tenaglia, Simona, 2013. "Ora et non Labora? A Test of the Impact of Religion on Female Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 7356, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Francesco Pastore, 2010. "The gender gap in early career in Mongolia," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 188-207, May.

    More about this item


    economic transition; evolution of the gender wage gap; decomposition analysis; wage inequality; Belarus;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General

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