Falling behind while Catching up: Changes in the Female-Male Wage Differential in Urban Turkey, 1988 to 1994

Meltem Dayioglu, Middle East Technical University
Insan Tunali, Koc University

Our main objective in this paper is the examination of the recent evolution of gender wage differentials in the private and public sectors, and reconciliation of the changes with related trends. Two trends we are especially interested in are the gains women have registered in terms of educational attainment and wage employment. Also of interest for us are the labor market implications of the increased exposure of the Turkish economy to global competitive forces. The preliminary results indicate that although the gender education gap is yet to close, women are catching up with men. Data from urban Turkey yield a more desirable picture, and support the view that urbanization is a favorable force. Women are also found to turn to the marketplace in increasing numbers. However, this trend is accompanied by a growing wage dispersion as a consequence of differential improvements in the returns to education.

Presented in Session 53: Investments in Education, Demographic Processes, and Socioeconomic Development