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Why Russian Workers do not Move: Attachment of Workers through In-Kind Payments

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  • Guido Friebel

    (IDEI)

Abstract

We relate the phenomena of sluggish interregional labour reallocation and in-kind compensation in Russia to 'attachment' strategies of firms: Paying wages in non- monetary forms makes it hard for workers to raise the cash needed for quitting their region in order to find better jobs in more prosperous regions. While attachment may facilitate worker-specific investments that do not pay off if workers are expected to leave, it also eliminates workers' outside options. Hence, firms may use it to exploit workers. Surprisingly, exploitation through attachment does not only occur in monopsonistic regional labour markets. Even if there is some competition, all firms in a region may use attachment strategies. Here, workers are locked-in and do not receive any compensation for their forgone option to move. Data of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) support our theory. Workers who receive in-kind payments are less probable to move than workers who do receive their wages in cash.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1376.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1376

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  1. Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Payments in Kind," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 244, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 10 Feb 2000.
  2. Alston, Lee J & Ferrie, Joseph P, 1993. "Paternalism in Agricultural Labor Contracts in the U.S. South: Implications for the Growth of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 852-76, September.
  3. Aghion, P. & Blanchard, O.J., 1993. "On the Speed of Transition in Central Europe," Working papers 93-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Marin, Dalia & Schnitzer, Monika, 1995. "Tying Trade Flows: A Theory of Countertrade with Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1047-64, December.
  5. Annette N. Brown, 1997. "The Economic Determinants of the Internal Migration Flows in Russia During Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 89, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  6. Brigitte C. Madrian, 1993. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Job Mobility: Is There Evidence ofJob-Lock?," NBER Working Papers 4476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-79, December.
  8. Faggio, Giulia & Konings, Jozef, 1999. "Gross Job Flows and Firm Growth in Transition Countries: Evidence Using Firm Level Data on Five Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Irena Grosfeld & Claudia Senik-Leygonie & Thierry Verdier & Stanislav Kolenikov & Elena Paltseva, 1999. "Dynamism and Inertia on the Russian Labour Market: A Model of Segmentation," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 246, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  10. John S. Earle, 1999. "Post-Privatisation Ownership Structure and Productivity in Russian Industrial Enterprises," Working Papers 1999.19, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  11. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
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