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

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  • Thomas Dohmen
  • Hartmut Lehmann
  • Mark E. Schaffer

    ()
    (Heriot-Watt University)

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 Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University in its series CERT Discussion Papers with number 0801.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hwe:certdp:0801

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Keywords: internal labour markets; wage policies of a firm; personnel data; Russia;

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  1. 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).
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  7. 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.
  8. Dohmen, Thomas, 2003. "Performance, Seniority and Wages: Formal Salary Systems and Individual Earnings Profiles," IZA Discussion Papers 935, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  13. 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.
  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. Lazear, Edward P, 1999. "Personnel Economics: Past Lessons and Future Directions: Presidential Address to the Society of Labor Economists, San Francisco, May 1, 1998," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 199-236, April.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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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