The Legacy of Communist Labor Relations
AbstractThis paper uses the International Social Science Programme (ISSP) surveys for Hungary and a set of Western countries, supplemented with related survey data for East Germany, Poland, and Slovenia, to examine the extent to which workers in traditionally communist societies differ in their attitudes towards work conditions, wage inequality, the role of the unions and the role of the state in determining labor market outcomes. We find sufficient similarity in responses between Hungary and the other previously communist countries and sufficiently marked differences in responses between their responses and those in several Western countries to suggest that communism left an identifiable common legacy in the labor area. The citizens of former communist countries evince a greater desire for egalitarianism than do Westerners, are less satisfied with their jobs and less satisfied with their lives, and are more supportive of state intervention. If our interpretation is correct, their move to a market economy will be marked by considerable "social schizophrenia" due to an attitudinal legacy of their communist past.
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