The gradualist approach to economic transition in Belarus would contribute to form the a priori expectation that the rate of return to education is low and the earnings profile by work experience flat, like they supposedly were under central-planning. However, the first available estimates of Mincerian earnings equations based on the Belarusian Household Survey on Incomes and Expenditure suggest that the skill payoff was high in 1996, at about 10.1% per year, and stable. The return to one year of work experience is also high at 5%. This result maintains also after controlling for sample selection bias, despite a general reduction in the annual rate of return to education by about 20-30%. Though, it is ambiguous whether the high-skill payoff is the consequence of market forces coming into play or of policy decisions, considering the pervasive role of the state in the process of wage determination.
educational economics returns to human capital economic transition Belarus