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Why Russian Workers Do Not Move: Attachment of Workers Through In-Kind Payments

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  • Guido Friebel
  • Sergei Guriev

Abstract

We relate the phenomena of sluggish interregional labour reallocation, in-kind compensation, and wage arrears in Russia to 'attachment' strategies of firms: being paid in non-monetary forms makes it hard for workers to raise the cash needed for quitting the region. Attachment may facilitate relation-specific investments, but it may also be used to exploit workers because it eliminates workers' outside options. We show that exploitation does not only happen if regional labour markets are monoposonistic. 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 have 19% lower probability to move than workers who do receive their wages in cash.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 283.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1999-283

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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  4. 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.
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  6. John S. Earle, 1999. "Post-Privatisation Ownership Structure and Productivity in Russian Industrial Enterprises," Working Papers 1999.19, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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