No. 24 Wage Earners, Self-Employment and Gender in the Informal Sector in Turkey
by Aysit Tansel

This study considers covered and uncovered wage earners and the self-employed. The analysis is carried out for men and women workers separately. The 1994 Turkish Household Expenditure Survey is used to examine how individuals are selected into the covered and uncovered wage earner and the self-employed categories. Next, selectivity corrected wage equations are estimated to examine wage determination in these sectors. Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions of the labor sector and male-female wage differentials are carried out. When controlled for the observed characteristics and sample selection, for men, covered wage earners earn more than uncovered wage earners and the self-employed. For the covered wage earners, menís expected wages are about twice the womenís wages. For uncovered wage earners, menís wages are near parity with those of women. These results suggest segmentation for men along the formal and informal lines and substantial discrimination against women in the covered private sector.


This paper is part of a series of papers on selected topics commissioned for the forthcoming Policy Research Report(PRR) on Gender and Development. The PRR is being carried out by Elizabeth King and Andrew Mason and co-sponsored by the World Bank’s Development Economics Research Group and the Gender and Development Group of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network. Printed copies of this paper are available free from the World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433. Please contact Owen Haaga, in room MC8-434 or at Comments are welcome and should be sent directly to the author(s) at

The full-length paper is available in PDF format.