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The Gender Pay Gap in Informal Employment in Poland


  • Anna Ruzik
  • Magdalena Rokicka


This paper addresses the issue of the gender pay gap in the formal and informal labour markets in Poland. The authors verify the hypothesis of the existence of a gender pay gap in informal work and compare this gap with the one observed in the formal (registered) labour market. Various analyses of available data show that size and characteristics of gender pay gap differ depending on the level of earnings. The inequality of earnings among unregistered women and men is more pronounced at the bottom tail of the earnings distribution. In the case of formal employees, inequality at the top of the distribution tends to be larger, confirming the existence of a ‘glass ceiling’. The decomposition of the gender pay gap for selected quintiles indicates that it would be even higher if women had men’s characteristics. A possible explanation of the results is the lack of minimum wage regulations in the informal market and the greater flexibility in agreement on wages in the higher quantiles.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Ruzik & Magdalena Rokicka, 2010. "The Gender Pay Gap in Informal Employment in Poland," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 406, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sec:cnstan:0406

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
    2. Chong, Alberto & Gradstein, Mark, 2007. "Inequality and informality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 159-179, February.
    3. Newell, Andrew & Reilly, Barry, 2001. "The gender pay gap in the transition from communism: some empirical evidence," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 287-304, December.
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    6. Doris Weichselbaumer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2007. "The effects of competition and equal treatment laws on gender wage differentials," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 235-287, April.
    7. Fersterer, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Are Austrian returns to education falling over time?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 73-89, February.
    8. Anne Busch & Elke Holst, 2009. "Glass Ceiling Effect and Earnings: The Gender Pay Gap in Managerial Positions in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 905, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
    10. Johannes P. Jütting & Jante Parlevliet & Theodora Xenogiani, 2008. "Informal Employment Re-loaded," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 266, OECD Publishing.
    11. Dimova, Ralitza & Gang, Ira N. & Landon-Lane, John, 2005. "The Informal Sector During Crisis and Transition," WIDER Working Paper Series 018, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. James Albrecht & Aico van Vuuren & Susan Vroman, 2004. "Decomposing the Gender Wage Gap in the Netherlands with Sample Selection Adjustments," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-123/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    13. Blau Francine D & Kahn Lawrence M, 2007. "The Gender Pay Gap," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 4(4), pages 1-6, June.
    14. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
    15. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
    16. Newell, Andrew T. & Socha, Mieczyslaw, 2005. "The Distribution of Wages in Poland, 1992-2002," IZA Discussion Papers 1485, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Joanna Landmesser, 2016. "Decomposition of differences In income distributions Using quantile regression," Statistics in Transition new series, Główny Urząd Statystyczny (Polska), vol. 17(2), pages 331-348, June.
    2. Aleksandra Majchrowska & Paweł Strawiński, 2016. "Regional Differences in Gender Wage Gaps in Poland: New Estimates Based on Harmonized Data for Wages," Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, CEJEME, vol. 8(2), pages 115-141, June.
    3. Aleksandra Majchrowska & Paweł Strawiński & Karolina Konopczak & Agnieszka Skierska, 2014. "Why are women paid less than men? An investigation into gender wage gap in Poland," Working Papers 2014-31, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    4. Aleksandra Majchrowska & Pawel Strawinski & Karolina Konopczak & Agnieszka Skierska, 2015. "Gender wage gap by occupational groups in Poland," Lodz Economics Working Papers 3/2015, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology.
    5. Mariusz Kaszubowski & Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz, 2014. "Salary and reservation wage gender gaps in Polish academia," GUT FME Working Paper Series A 19, Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdansk University of Technology.
    6. repec:exl:29stat:v:17:y:2016:i:2:p:331-348 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:sgh:gosnar:y:2017:i:2:p:29-43 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    gender pay gap; informal employment; quantile regression;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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