Behind the curtain: How did women's work history vary across Central and Eastern Europe? Articles uri icon

authors

  • PEREZ IZQUIERDO, TELMO JUAN
  • PRONKINA, ELIZAVETA

publication date

  • April 2023

start page

  • 465

end page

  • 489

issue

  • 2

volume

  • 31

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2577-6975

abstract

  • This paper investigates the differences in female work experience across Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs). We use retrospective SHARELIFE data to analyse women's work history from 1950 to 1990. We provide descriptive evidence that women's work experience varied across CEECs. Furthermore, we argue that comparing the former provinces of the Russian Empire in Lithuania and Poland provides a natural experiment, allowing us to disentangle the effect of the differential implementation of the Soviet regime from the pre-existing differences. We find that during communism, Lithuanian women worked 2 years more by age 50 relative to their Polish counterparts. This effect is one-third of that found in the East–West Germany comparison. We propose several potential mechanisms behind this finding: the degree of land collectivization, the Church's influence and the sectoral composition. Accordingly, this study's findings highlight the importance of country differences in CEECs.

subjects

  • Economics
  • History

keywords

  • central and eastern europe; communism; employment; sharelife