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Wage policies of a Russian firm and the financial crisis of 1998: Evidence from personnel data â 1997 to 2002

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  • T. Dohmen
  • H. Lehmann
  • M. E. Schaffer

Abstract

We use a rich personnel data set from a Russian firm for the years 1997 to 2002 to analyze how the financial crisis in 1998 and the resulting change in external labour market conditions affect the wages and the welfare of workers inside a firm. We provide evidence that large shocks to external conditions affect the firm's personnel policies, and show that the burden of the shock is not evenly spread across the workforce. The firm takes advantage of a high-inflationary environment and of a fall in workers' outside options after the financial crisis and cuts real wages. Earnings are curbed most for those who earned the highest rents, resulting in a strong compression of real wages. The fact that real wages and real compensation levels never recovered to pre-crisis levels even though the firm's financial situation was better in 2002 than before the crisis and the differential treatment of employee groups within the firm can be taken as evidence that market forces strongly influence the wage policies of our firm.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 628.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:628

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  1. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
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  3. Tito Boeri & Katherine Terrell, 2001. "Institutional Determinants of Labor Reallocation in Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 384, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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  5. Hartmut Lehmann & Jonathan Wadsworth & Alessandro Asquisti, 1999. "Grime and Punishment: Job Insecurity and Wage Arrears in the Russian Federation," LICOS Discussion Papers 7999, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  6. Abbigail J. Chiodo & Michael T. Owyang, 2002. "A case study of a currency crisis: the Russian default of 1998," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 7-18.
  7. Joseph G. Altonji & Paul J. Devereux, 1999. "The Extent and Consequences of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 7236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2004. "Performance, seniority, and wages: formal salary systems and individual earnings profiles," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 741-763, December.
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  10. Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 1999. "Careers in organizations: Theory and evidence," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2373-2437 Elsevier.
  11. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Götte, 2000. "Robustness and Real Consequences of Nominal Wage Rigidity," CESifo Working Paper Series 335, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bonin, Holger & Sunde, Uwe, 2003. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidities and the Rate of Inflation: Evidence from West German Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 959, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Dohmen, Thomas & Pfann, Gerard A., 2000. "Worker Separations in a Nonstationary Corporate Environment," IZA Discussion Papers 201, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Lehmann, Hartmut & Wadsworth, Jonathan & Acquisti, Alessandro, 1999. "Grime and Punishment: Insecurity and Wage Arrears in the Russian Federation," IZA Discussion Papers 65, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Alejandro Lopez-Feldman, 2005. "DESCOGINI: Stata module to perform Gini decomposition by income source," Statistical Software Components S456001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 22 Sep 2008.
  16. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 151-56, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Thomas Dohmen & Hartmut Lehmann & Anzelika Zaiceva, 2008. "The Gender Earnings Gap inside a Russian Firm: First Evidence from Personnel Data - 1997 to 2002 ; Updated Version," ESCIRRU Working Papers 6, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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