Kolmapäev, 2. detsember 2020 kell 11.00
Jaanika Meriküll (Tartu Ülikool; Eesti Pank), kaasautor Maryna Tverdostup
The gap that survived the transition: 30 years of the gender wage gap in Estonia
This paper derives the gender wage gap throughout the transition from Communism to capitalism and throughout the income convergence from low- to high-income economy. The case of Estonia is used, and the labour force survey micro data is employed from 1989 to 2020.The wage determination was highly regulated and controlled by state in Communist regimes and the educational attainment and labour market participation of women was high. Despite the formally egalitarian regime, the raw gender wage gap was as large as 41% in 1989. The large gender wage gap under the Communist rule diminished quickly during the transition to market economy, mainly due to the erosion of distortions in the labour market such as high returns from working in agriculture. The paper has two main messages, first, the position of women in the labour market has improved over the last 30 years. They had good education already 30 years ago, but have even better education and jobs now than then. These trends are similar to Western European countries without the Communist past. Second, the gender wage gap was large already 30 years ago and the unexplained part has been resistant to decline. This points to strong inertia in the gender wage gap and to the importance of longer-term factors as cultural norms and gender attitudes in it.
Keywords: gender wage gap, wage distribution, decomposition, post-communist economies
JEL codes: J31 (Wage level and structure, wage differentials), J71 (Discrimination), P23 (Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies: Factor and product markets, industry studies, population)