Gender-based occupational segregation in Russia: An empirical study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Social Economics, 2012, 39 (7), pp. 474 - 489
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine trends in gender inequalities in the Russian labour market between 1994 and 2001, the early period of the transition to the market economy from the old Soviet Union. Design/methodology/approach: The paper examines gender occupational segregation using the dataset from a nationally representative longitudinal survey of Russian households, the Russian Labour Market Survey. The occupational segregation index measure developed by Karmel and Maclachlan, known as the KM Index, is applied and extended by decomposing the index into several components. Findings: The KM Index declined over this period, indicating a reduction in the extent of gender inequality, However, the decomposing of the KM index shows that, in contrast to previous research, the decrease in segregation within individual occupations contributed most of the overall fall in gender segregation. Changes in the overall occupational structure and an increase in female employment contributed, albeit marginally, to an increase in segregation. Research limitations/implications: Because of the changes which have continued in Russia since 2001, these research results may lack applicability to current emerging economic circumstances in Russia. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to test the proposed propositions further using data for the period 2005 to 2015 once the data become available. Practical implications: The paper provides rigorous estimates of the trends in gender inequalities at an important period in Russia's economic development and serves as a benchmark for future analysis. Originality/value: This paper provides new detail on the workings of the Russian labour market during the period of transition and as such provides a base against which changes in gender inequalities since 2001 can be measured. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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