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Male-female differences in labor market outcomes during the early transition to market : the case of Estonia and Slovenia

  • Orazem, Peter F.
  • Vodopivec, Milan

The authors analyze changes in women's relative wages, using social security data from Slovenia (1987-92) and a retrospective survey of Estonia's labor force (1989-94). Estonia adopted liberal labor market policies. Slovenia took an interventionist approach. Nevertheless, relative wages for women rose in both countries. Actually, real wages fell for both men and women, but women lost less than men did. Certain factorfavored women: 1) Returns to human capital rose during the transition. 2) Relative labor demand shifted toward predominantly female sectors (health, education, financial services, retail trade) and away from traditionally male sectors (agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation). 3) Women with low wages had a disproportionate incentive to exit the labor market, especially in Estonia. Women were less mobile across jobs in both countries, however, so men disproportionately filled new jobs in expanding sectors. Women who remained employed had higher average education levels. Women's relative immobility will tend to reduce their early relative gains. Their relative wages will also continue to fall if their share of the expanding sectors continue to fall.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2087.

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Date of creation: 31 Mar 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2087
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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. Haltiwanger, John C. & Vodopivec, Milan, 2002. "Gross worker and job flows in a transition economy: an analysis of Estonia," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 601-630, November.
  3. Stefan Bojnec & Jozef Konings, 1998. "Job Creation, Job Destruction and Labour Demand in Slovenia," LICOS Discussion Papers 7498, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  4. 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 410-42, June.
  5. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1992. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Learning from International Comparisons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 533-38, May.
  6. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-46, September.
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