Market Transformation and the Opportunity Structure for Gender Inequality: A Cohort Analysis Using Linked Employer-Employee Data from Slovenia

Joseph King, University of California, Irvine
Andrew Penner, University of California, Irvine
Nina Bandelj, University of California, Irvine
Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrcela, University of Ljubljana

We apply a life course, and particularly a cohort-based, approach to shed new light on how market transformation affects gender inequality. Previous analyses have paid arguably inadequate attention to the cohort-specific effects of marketization, overlooking meaningful cohort variation as transition alters the structural and normative context of inequality. In doing so we not only further life course research among transition societies but also generalize Petersen and Saporta’s (2004) notion of the opportunity structure for discrimination to the organization of markets more broadly. Using linked employer-employee registry data from Slovenia we find pronounced cohort effects, with younger cohorts being disproportionately harmed by marketization. Results also suggest that economic change altered the structure of gender inequality in organizations in cohort-specific ways. This suggests a cohort-based approach is necessary to understand the gender consequences of market transition and that this process importantly shapes the feasibility and acceptance of various forms of inequality.

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Presented in Session 183: Gender, Work and Family: The Influence of Social Context