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REPORT ON THE BOOK:

WAGE INEQUALITIES
IN EAST AND WEST
BY DOMINIQUE REDOR


by Hasnain Alibhai

This book deals with the period before the major economic and political upheavals that occurred in Eastern Europe. It compares statistical data of six Western Systems (WS) and four Soviet-Type Systems (STS) economies. The WS are: Belgium, Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States. The STS are Hungary, Poland, GDR, and the USSR.

1) AREAS WHERE NO SYSTEMIC DIFFERENCE WAS FOUND:

First, no systemic differences were found in the overall dispersion of all wage earners.

Second, the level of pay differentials between men and women was similar in both WS and STS countries, with the exception of Denmark, where it is lower and the USA, where it is greater.

Third, even after accounting for differences in the levels of formal education and vocational training men's earnings exceed women's earnings significantly in both systems. This can be taken as an evidence of wage discrimination against women. The differences in earnings between men and women are as great in the STS as in the WS. The women's low earnings cannot be explained solely by an inferior level of formal education and professional training. In both systems women are victims of segregation and discrimination.

2) AREAS WHERE A SYSTEMIC DIFFERENCE MAY BE FOUND:

Pay differentials between manual and non-manual workers are low in STS and account for only a small part of earnings dispersion, while in WS, these differentials are high and account for a large part of earnings dispersion. In addition to this, the earnings dispersion within the category of manual workers is higher in the STS than in the WS.

The pay differentials between manual and non-manual workers are lower in the STS, because manual workers in sectors such as mining and metal processing are receiving high wages due to priorities given to these sectors by planners. These priorities are based on a 'normative conception of the role that the mining and steel industry play in the economic development and transformation of society'.

TABLES:

RATIO OF
AVERAGE EARNINGS
OF MANUAL AND
NON MANUAL  WORKERS:
( 1978 for WS and 1980 for STS)
BELGIUM 1.49
DENMARK 1.30
FRANCE 1.70
FRG 1.38
UK 1.18
HUNGARY 1.13
POLAND 1.05
GDR 1.05
USSR 1.05
RATIO OF EARNINGS
OF MEN AND WOMEN
BY THE CATEGORY
OF LABOR:
  Manual  Nonmanual All
BELGIUM 1.39  1.59 1.47
DENMARK 1.20 1.46 1.27
FRANCE  1.34 1.65 1.47
FRG 1.34 1.59 1.47
HUNGARY 1.47 1.58 1.47
POLAND 1.59 1.77 1.45

 

SOURCE:

  • WAGE INEQUALITIES IN EAST AND WEST; DOMINIQUE REDOR; CAMBRIDE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 1988.

 

 

 

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