IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/6167.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Transition in East Germany: When is a Ten Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?

Author

Listed:
  • Jennifer Hunt

Abstract

Since monetary union with western Germany on 1 July 1990, eastern female monthly wages have risen by 10 percentage points relative to male wages, but female employment has fallen 5 percentage points more than male employment. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel to study the years 1990-1994, I show that along with age, the wage of a worker in 1990 is the most important determinant of the hazard rate from employment. Differences in mean 1990 wages explain more than half of the gender gap in this hazard rate, since low earners were more likely to leave employment, and were disproportionately female. The withdrawal from employment of low earners can explain 40% of the rise in relative female wages. Competing risks analysis reveals that the wage has its effect through layoffs, and hence through labor demand, which is consistent with the hypothesis that union wage rises have caused the least productive to be laid off. There is no evidence that reduction in child care availability is a major factor in reducing female employment rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Jennifer Hunt, 1997. "The Transition in East Germany: When is a Ten Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?," NBER Working Papers 6167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6167
    Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6167.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1995. "A Comparative Analysis of East and West German Labor Markets: Before and After Unification," NBER Chapters, in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 405-446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1988. "Child-Care Costs and Family Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 374-381, August.
    3. Viktor Steiner & Patrick A. Puhani, 1997. "Economic Restructuring, the Value of Human Capital, and the Distribution of Hourly Wages in Eastern Germany, 1990 to 1994," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 66(1), pages 197-204.
    4. Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "Post-Unification Wage Growth in East Germany," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 190-195, February.
    5. Jennifer Hunt, 2000. "Why Do People Still Live in East Germany?," NBER Working Papers 7564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Burda, M. & Schmidt, C., 1997. "Getting Behind The East-West Wage Differential: Theory and Evidence," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1997,77, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    7. David C. Ribar, 1992. "Child Care and the Labor Supply of Married Women: Reduced Form Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 134-165.
    8. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
    9. Wolfgang Scheremet, 1995. "Tarifpolitik in Ostdeutschland: Ausstieg aus dem Lohnverhandlungsmodell der Bundesrepublik Deutschland?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 113, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. David Begg & Richard Portes, 1993. "Eastern Germany since unification: wage subsidies remain a better way," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 1(4), pages 383-400, December.
    11. Jean Kimmel, 1998. "Child Care Costs As A Barrier To Employment For Single And Married Mothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 287-299, May.
    12. Edward J. Bird & Johannes Schwarze & Gert G. Wagner, 1994. "Wage Effects of the Move toward Free Markets in East Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 390-400, April.
    13. Steiner, Viktor & Wagner, Kersten, 1997. "East West German wage convergence - How far have we got?," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-25, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    14. Rainer Pischner & Gert G. Wagner, 1995. "Bilanz der Erwerbschancen fünf Jahre nach der Wende in Ostdeutschland," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 62(46), pages 789-796.
    15. Peter Krause, 1994. "Armut im Wohlstand: Betroffenheit und Folgen," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 88, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    16. Licht, Georg & Steiner, Viktor, 1992. "Where have all the workers gone? Employment termination in East Germany after unification," ZEW Discussion Papers 92-12, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    17. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, January-J.
    18. Michael C. Burda & Christoph M. Schmitd, 1997. "Getting Behind the East-West [German] Wage Differential: Theory and Evidence," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 105, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    19. Karl-Dietrich Bedau, 1996. "Löhne und Gehälter in Ost- und Westdeutschland gleichen sich an, Lohnstückkosten jedoch nicht," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 63(8), pages 134-140.
    20. Freeman, Richard B. & Katz, Lawrence F. (ed.), 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226261607.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "Post-Unification Wage Growth in East Germany," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 190-195, February.
    2. Wolfgang Franz & Viktor Steiner, 2000. "Wages in the East German Transition Process: Facts and Explanations," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 241-269, August.
    3. Kohn, Karsten & Antonczyk, Dirk, 2011. "The Aftermath of Reunification: Sectoral Transition, Gender, and Rising Wage Inequality in East Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 5708, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Hunt, Jennifer, 1999. "Determinants of Non-Employment and Unemployment Durations in East Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 2182, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Ira N. Gang & Robert C. Stuart & Myeong-Su Yun, 2006. "Wage Growth and Inequality Change During Rapid Economic Transition," Departmental Working Papers 200631, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    6. Robert Orlowski & Regina T. Riphahn, 2008. "The East German Wage Structure after Transition," CESifo Working Paper Series 2511, CESifo.
    7. Karsten Kohn & Dirk Antonczyk, 2013. "The aftermath of reunification," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 21(1), pages 73-110, January.
    8. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "From Reunification to Economic Integration: Productivity and the Labor Market in Eastern Germany," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 1-92.
    9. Johannes Gernandt & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2008. "Wage Convergence and Inequality after Unification: (East) Germany in Transition," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 107, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    10. Usamah Fayez Al-Farhan, 2010. "A Detailed Decomposition of Changes in Wage Inequality in Reunified Post-transition Germany 1999-2006: Accounting for Sample Selection," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 269, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Michaela R. Kreyenfeld, 2006. "Der Einfluss der ‚Wende’ auf bildungsspezifische Fertilitätsunterschiede in Ostdeutschland," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-025, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    12. 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.
    13. Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2006. "Self-Selection and the Returns to Geographic Mobility: What Can Be Learned from the German Reunification "Experiment"," IZA Discussion Papers 2524, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Emmler, Julian & Fitzenberger, Bernd, 2020. "The Role of Unemployment and Job Change When Estimating the Returns to Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 13740, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Fiona Duffy & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2000. "Individual Pay and Outside Options: Evidence from the Polish Labour Force Survey," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 364, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    16. Daniel Münich & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 2005. "Returns to Human Capital Under The Communist Wage Grid and During the Transition to a Market Economy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 100-123, February.
    17. Steiner, Viktor & Wagner, Kersten, 1997. "East West German wage convergence - How far have we got?," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-25, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    18. Simona E. Cociuba, 2019. "The Collapse And Recovery Of The Capital Share In East Germany After 1989," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(4), pages 2035-2057, October.
    19. Frank Siebern, 2000. "Growth and Convergence in a Two‐Region Model of Unified Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 363-384, August.
    20. Helmut Mahringer & Christine Zulehner, 2015. "Child-care costs and mothers’ employment rates: an empirical analysis for Austria," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 837-870, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6167. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.