The Legacy of Communist Labor Relations
AbstractThis paper contrasts International Social Science Programme (ISSP) surveys for Hungary, supplemented with related survey data for East Germany, Poland, and Slovenia, with ISSP data for Western countries, to examine the extent to which workers in traditionally communist societies differ in their attitudes toward work conditions, wage inequality, the role of unions and the role of the state in determining labor market outcomes. We find sufficiently marked differences in responses between Hungary and the other previously communist countries and in 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, are less satisfied with their jobs, and are more supportive of state interventions in the job market and economy than Westerners. These differences suggest that the 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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