Doctoral defence: “Essays on Gender and labor market outcomes.”

May 24, 2021

On 28th May Lic. Sc. Evgenii (Eugen) Koev will defend his doctoral dissertation “Essays on Gender and labor market outcomes.”

The dissertation consists of an introduction and three essays, each focusing on certain specific empirical and methodological questions in the field of economics of gender and gender inequality.

The first essay investigates the relationship between feminization and returns to Finnish master’s degree programs.  Contrary to the prediction of the sociological devaluation theory, between 1987 and 2017, the correlation between the master’s degree programs’ female share growth and the income growth of their graduates has been positive. The essay discusses mechanisms that could explain the result.  At the same time, the results suggest that the relative return to markedly feminine master’s degree programs has further deteriorated. The finding prompts to investigate further the strong link of such programs to public sector employment.

The second essay is a methodological contribution to the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, which is a central tool in analyzing the wage difference between two groups: men and women, private and public sector employees, etc. The results mean that the wage gap contribution of each categorical variable that affects wages can be evaluated more comprehensively than has been thought. 

The third essay examines the firm-specific wage components as sources and explanations of the gender wage gap. In female-dominated blue-collar occupations, firm-specific wage factors account for about one-third of the total wage gap in the group. Measurement of the effect for male-dominated blue-collar occupations is subject to substantial uncertainty but is likely to be less significant.

Eugen Koev is a labor market economist with a long career at Akava, a trade union confederation for professional and managerial staff.