When opportunity knocks
Few international conferences have such a deep interest and insight into the evolution of post-socialist economies as EACES. Presenting at this conference was a test of fire for our paper on gender wage gaps and labor reallocation
Our research seeks to shed additional light on the determinants of changes in the gender wage gaps, after adjusting for workers characteristics. For this, we decided to go beyond the "usual suspects" (family policies and institutions) and focus on the role of labor market churning. In particular, we test whether periods of rapid change affected gender wage gaps by pulling together a rich set of individual level data from Central and Eastern European countries.
Our results suggest that labor market churning was related to larger gender differences, but only in the case of cohorts who were active before the onset of transition. Younger cohorts, by contrast, the effect is almost null. Such phenomena can be related to a form of risk aversion. In the face of large shocks, women might have been more reluctant to switch jobs, even if that stability would result in lower wages. Younger cohorts did not have such a "safe" option. Young women had to enter the new markets at the same pace as men did.
This is still a work in progress, all comments received are greatly appreciated..