The Polish Wage Inequality Explosion

26 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2007

See all articles by Andrew Newell

Andrew Newell

University of Sussex - School of Social Sciences & Cultural Studies; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mieczyslaw W. Socha

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This paper presents and analyses the sharp increase in hourly wage inequality after 1998 in Poland. The increase was similar in magnitude to the much-studied increase in British wage inequality during the 1980s. Using data from the Polish Labour Force Survey, we find this increase to be associated with rising wage differentials and within-group variances at both the upper and lower ends of the wage distribution. These increases are associated with differences in wage-setting patterns between the public and private sector as well as with the rapid increase in demand for educated labour. One important difference between the sectors is the lack of an impact of local labour market conditions, or wage curve, clearly evident in private sector wages, on public sector wages.

Suggested Citation

Newell, Andrew T. and Socha, Mieczyslaw, The Polish Wage Inequality Explosion. Economics of Transition, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 733-758, October 2007. Available at SSRN: or

Andrew T. Newell (Contact Author)

University of Sussex - School of Social Sciences & Cultural Studies ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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No contact information is available for Mieczyslaw Socha

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