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The Determinants of Female Labour Supply in Belarus

  • Pastore, Francesco

    ()

    (University of Naples II)

  • Verashchagina, Alina

    ()

    (University of Siena)

Unlike in many other transition countries, where the gender pay gap has remained stable while female employment rates have reduced, in the case of Belarus women’ activity rate has been practically unchanged despite an increase in the gender pay gap. This paper investigates why this is the case by looking at the determinants of female labour force participation in 1996 and 2001 (data from the Belarusian Household Survey). The selectivity corrected wage equation is estimated to compute an expected wage offer for women. The latter is included, in the second step, as a regressor in the structural female labour supply equation, estimated by probit. Several measures for the care of children and elderly people, proxies for the opportunity cost of working, affect female participation, but do not generate sample selection mechanisms. The estimated elasticity of female participation to wages is low, at about 0.45 in 1996 and 0.41 in 2001. Moreover the data allows detecting poverty trap mechanisms, whereas women in low-income households have much lower than average participation rates. At the same time the elasticity of female labour supply with respect to the own wage appears to be much higher for the low-paid groups of women.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3457.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Ravi Kanbur and Jan Svejnar (eds.), Labour Markets and Economic Development, London: Routledge, 2009
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3457
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  1. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-77, June.
  2. Constantin G. Ogloblin, 1999. "The Gender earnings differential in the Russian transition economy," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(4), pages 602-627, July.
  3. 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.
  4. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Haddad, Lawrence & Pena, Christine, 2001. "Are women overrepresented among the poor? An analysis of poverty in 10 developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 225-269, October.
  5. 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.
  6. Puhani, Patrick A, 2000. " The Heckman Correction for Sample Selection and Its Critique," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 53-68, February.
  7. 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).
  8. Catherine Saget, 1999. "The determinants of female labour supply in Hungary," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(3), pages 575-591, November.
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