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Wage Determination Under Communism and In Transition: Evidence from Central Europe

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  • Swati Basu,
  • Saul Estrin
  • Jan Svejnar

    ()

Abstract

Using large firm-level data sets from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, we show that the wage behavior of firms changed considerably as these economies launched their transitions to a market system. We find evidence of worker sharing in their enterprise rents and losses at the end of the communist period in some economies and within a year after the launching of the transition, we find rent sharing in all of them. Using the Czech and Slovak data we show that the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that existed under communism and survived allow for less worker rent-sharing than other firms. We also test for the presence of a wage curve and with the exception of Slovakia we do not find a significant association between local unemployment and wages. Finally, we do not find significant effects of firm ownership on wages.

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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 2004-717.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2004-717

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  1. Svejnar, J., 1984. "Bargaining power, fear of disagreement and wage settlements: theory and evidence from U.S. industry," CORE Discussion Papers 1984037, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Prasnikar, Janez, et al, 1994. "Behavior of Participatory Firms in Yugoslavia: Lessons for Transforming Economies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, November.
  3. Brown, James N & Ashenfelter, Orley, 1986. "Testing the Efficiency of Employment Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S40-S87, June.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier & Kremer, Michael, 1997. "Disorganization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1091-1126, November.
  5. Dobbelaere, Sabien, 2004. "Ownership, firm size and rent sharing in Bulgaria," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 165-189, April.
  6. Anders Åslund & Peter Boone & Simon Johnson, 1996. "How to Stabilize: Lessons from Post -communist Countries," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 217-314.
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Cited by:
  1. Ales Berk, 2006. "Determinants of Leverage in Slovenian Blue-Chip Firms and Stock Performance Following Substantial Debt Increases," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 479-494.
  2. Maxim Bouev, 2005. "State Regulations, Job Search and Wage Bargaining: A Study in the Economics of the Informal Sector," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp764, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. Bernd Görzig & Martin Gornig & Axel Werwatz, 2006. "Firm Specific Wage Spread in Germany - Decomposition of regional differences in inter firm wage dispersion," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-045, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

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