ETHNIC WAGE GAP AND POLITICAL BREAK-UPS: ESTONIA DURING POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC TRANSITION
We analyse the ethnic wage gap in Estonia, a former Soviet republic and current EU member, which hosts a substantial Russianspeaking minority. The analysis covers a lengthy period from the final years of the Soviet Union until the first years of EU membership. We document the rise of a substantial wage gap among males in favour of the Estonian-speaking population. This result is robust with respect to controls for language skills, education, industry and occupation. The main factors causing the unexplained wage gap include different ethnicity-specific returns to education and working in the capital city. The gap for young and established workers is of equal size.We argue that the most plausible explanations are establishmentlevel segregation, possibly related to sorting and screening discrimination. Unobserved human capital, related to the segregated school system, may also play a certain role.
wage decomposition, ethnicity, Estonia, former Soviet Union
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