This paper studies gender earnings inequality in ten Central and Eastern EU countries before (2007) and during the ongoing crisis (2009), using quantile regression methods. The analysis reveals remarkable cross-country diversity in levels and patterns of the gender gap along the earning distribution. We address then the role played by country-specific labour market institutions in forming this variety. Labour market deregulation increases gender inequality, particularly reinforcing the glass-ceiling effect. Higher union density and wage coordination reduce the pay gap, with stronger equalizing effects again in the better-paid jobs. Lastly, the crisis seems to further weaken the already poor role of institutions in the low-pay sector.
earnings gender gap institutions quantile regression