Working Papers

Alina Verashchagina|Francesco Pastore| 11.04.2010

When Does Transition Increase the Gender Wage Gap?

Underneath stable female participation rates, the unconditional gender wage gap in the log of monthly wages has more than doubled in Belarus fr om 1996 to 2006. In this respect, the country represents a variant of the former Soviet Union transition, wh ere relative female wages have reduced more than female participation did. Analysis of the Machado and Mata (2005) gender gap decomposition reveals that the effect of coefficients in rising the gap was increasing over time, especially at the lower and middle deciles of the wage distribution, while the effect of characteristics in reducing the gap was shrinking. The Juhn, Murphy and Pierce (1991) decomposition of changes in the gap over time confirms that the contraction of women’s relative wages has been caused by deterioration of observed characteristics and of their remuneration. Instead, changes in the residual wage distribution tend to slightly reduce, rather than to increase the gender gap, as is the case elsewhere. Neuman and Oaxaca (2004) type of analysis suggests that sample selection was not behind the increased gap. Instead, two of observed factors are found to be mainly responsible for the results: the hours of work which have increased more for men than for women and the segregation of women in low-wage industries.