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Explaining Gender Differences in Unemployment with Micro Data on Flows in Post-Communist Economies

  • Lauerová, Jana Stefanová

    (ACNielsen Czech Republic, Prague)

  • Terrell, Katherine

    (University of Michigan)

Post-communist labor markets provide an interesting laboratory since unemployment rates grew from zero to double digits and gender differences began to vary greatly across these countries. We provide the first systematic analysis of the determinants of the gender unemployment gap in the Czech Republic using a method that decomposes unemployment rates into transition probabilities (flows) between labor market states, which we calculate using Labor Force Survey data. We extend the analysis to other post-communist economies by evaluating the flows available from existing studies with the decomposition framework. We further examine the flows in the Czech Republic by estimating gender-specific multinomial logit models to learn which factors (demographic, regional, cyclical) other than gender and marital status affect unemployment. We find that women’s lower probability of exiting unemployment for a job explains the lion’s share of the gender gap in the unemployment rates in the Czech Republic and the other post-communist countries for which studies exist. This is also the principal factor explaining married women’s higher unemployment rates compared to married men in the Czech Republic. On the other hand, single men and women’s rates are higher than married men and women’s because they are twice as likely to lose/leave a job for unemployment. We find that age and education are systematically important in explaining flows of both men and women in all these economies, as it is in the more developed industrial economies. The less educated are more likely to be laid off or quit and less likely to find a job. Whereas younger individuals are more likely to be laid off or quit, they are also more likely to find a job.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 600.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Comparative Economic Studies, 2007, 49 (1), 128-155
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp600
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  1. Orazem, Peter F & Vodopivec, Milan, 1995. "Winners and Losers in Transition: Returns to Education, Experience, and Gender in Slovenia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 201-30, May.
  2. Larry DeBoer & Michael C. Seeborg, 1989. "The unemployment rates of men and women: A transition probability analysis," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(3), pages 404-414, April.
  3. Stepan Jurajda & Katherine Terrell, 2001. "What Drives the Speed of Job Reallocation during Episodes of Massive Adjustment?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp170, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  4. Mark C. Foley, 1997. "Labor Market Dynamics in Russia," Working Papers 780, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  5. Stephen T. Marston, 1976. "Employment Instability and High Unemployment Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(1), pages 169-210.
  6. Bellmann Lutz & Estrin Saul & Lehmann Hartmut & Wadsworth Jonathan, 1995. "The Eastern German Labor Market in Transition: Gross Flow Estimates from Panel Data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 139-170, April.
  7. Bilsen, Valentijn & Konings, Jozef, 1998. "Job Creation, Job Destruction, and Growth of Newly Established, Privatized, and State-Owned Enterprises in Transition Economies: Survey Evidence from Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 429-445, September.
  8. Elizabeth Brainerd, 2000. "Women in transition: Changes in gender wage differentials in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 138-162, October.
  9. Faggio, Giulia & Konings, Jozef, 2001. "Job Creation, Job Destruction and Employment Growth in Transition Countries in the 90's," IZA Discussion Papers 242, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Robert S. Chase, 1998. "Markets for communist human capital: Returns to education and experience in the Czech republic and Slovakia," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(3), pages 401-423, April.
  11. Foley, M.C., 1997. "Labor Market Dynamics in Russia," Papers 780, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  12. Royalty, Anne Beeson, 1998. "Job-to-Job and Job-to-Nonemployment Turnover by Gender and Education Level," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 392-443, April.
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