Wednesday | 13 March, 2013

Inequality of Job Opportunities Across the South Caucasus

The World Development Report 2013, which was newly released and presented in Tbilisi a couple of weeks  ago states that, “The concept of equality of opportunity, which can be traced back to John Rawls and Robert Nozick, stems from the idea that an individual’s chances of success in life should not be caused by circumstances that are beyond the individual’s control, such as gender, ethnicity, location of birth, or family background.” The report is mainly devoted to investigating jobs challenges and problems of employment, including unequal opportunities to find a job due to specific circumstances. This report included a chart from the 2006 Life in Transition Survey (LTS) that identifies the level of inequality of job opportunities based on circumstances, age and education across countries (i.e. the “Dissimilarity Index” or D index). Differences in the results among countries can be observed in the table below, yet data from the 2012 Caucasus Barometer (CB) show shifting priorities for obtaining a good job in the South Caucasus countries.

The LTS chart from 2006 indicates that education is a major source of inequality of job opportunities in Armenia and Azerbaijan. However, the inequality D-index for Armenia was approximately 11 times higher than in Georgia and 3 times higher than in Azerbaijan. For Georgia and Azerbaijan, circumstances such as gender, ethnicity, parental education and political affiliation influenced the inequality of job opportunities. In contrast, these circumstances constituted the least share of the D-index in Armenia. Age was found to be least influential in all three countries, yet, it was about 3 times larger in Armenia and Azerbaijan than in Georgia. 
The more recent 2012 CB asked about factors that Georgians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis consider most important for getting a good job in their countries. CB data show that connections is considered to be the most important factor for getting a job in Armenia and Azerbaijan, whereas education is considered to be the most important factor in Georgia. Education is also deemed to be the second most important factor in Armenia and Azerbaijan. Additionally, doing favors for the ‘right’ people stands as the third most important factor in Azerbaijan, while professional abilities is third for Georgia and Armenia. Appearance and age are considered to be more important factors for getting a good job in Armenia than in other two countries, whereas hard work, luck and talent are perceived to hold more weight in Georgia.

This blog has shown that there are different perceptions about how different factors relate to job opportunities in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Whereas education, circumstances and age are shown to be the most basic reasons for job inequality in the LTS survey, connections and education are the dominant factors for getting a good job in all 3 countries according to the CB. 
If you are interested in issues regarding attitudes towards getting a good job please visit CRRC’s Online Data Analysis tool.