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Private sector employment in Russia: Scale, composition and performance


  • Vladimir Gimpelson
  • Douglas Lippoldt


In Russia, as across Central and Eastern Europe, privatization and the establishmemt of new private firms have been viewed as key factors in labour market adjustment during the transition period. This paper considers the overall employment developments in the private sector in Russia and the extent to which the private sector employment performance is differentiated from that of other sectors in five Russian regions. The analysis is based on a fresh look at these issues using official statistics published by Goskomstat and drawing on microdata from the March 1996 Russian Labour Force Survey (LFS). A special questionnaire attached to the LFS in the study regions provides supplementary information. The paper highlights shifts in the sectoral composition of employment, including growth in private sector employment. Compared to other forms of ownership, the analysis confirms a tendency for private sector ownership in the study regions to be associated with stronger employment performance with respect to hours worked and, in some cases, timely payment of wages. Private sector firms appear to have relatively flexible employment patterns, utilizing more fixed‐term or part‐time employment than other types of firms and experiencing greater labour turnover. Also, private sector employees tend to be somewhat younger and probably more adaptable people. However, there is significant variation across the study regions and substantial exceptions exist with respect to the above‐mentioned tendencies. With respect to employment issues, the differentiation between sectors appears to be less pronounced than one might have expected.

Suggested Citation

  • Vladimir Gimpelson & Douglas Lippoldt, 1999. "Private sector employment in Russia: Scale, composition and performance," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 505-533, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:7:y:1999:i:2:p:505-533
    DOI: 10.1111/1468-0351.00023

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Kihlgren, 2004. "The methodology used by Russian statistical bodies to analyse small business," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 363-377.
    2. Adelaide Maria Figueiredo & Fernanda Otília Figueiredo & Natália Pimenta Monteiro, 2008. "Labor adjustments in privatized firms: a Statis approach," FEP Working Papers 306, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    3. Randall K. Filer & Jan Hanousek, 2002. "Data Watch: Research Data from Transition Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 225-240, Winter.
    4. Gimpelson, Vladimir & Lippoldt, Douglas, 1999. "Labour Turnover in Russia: Evidence from the Administrative Reporting of Enterprises in Four Regions," Transition Economics Series 4, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    5. Simon Clarke & Veronika Kabalina, 1999. "Employment in the New Private Sector in Russia," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4), pages 421-443.
    6. Steve Stillman, 1999. "Labor Market Uncertainty and Private Sector Labor Supply in Russia," Working Papers DRU-2393-NICHD, RAND Corporation.
    7. Steven Stillman, 2000. "Labor Market Uncertainty and Private Sector Labor Supply in Russia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 359, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    8. Smirnova, Natalia, 2003. "Job search behavior of unemployed in Russia," BOFIT Discussion Papers 13/2003, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    9. Elizabeth Brainerd, 2000. "How Does Privatization Affect Workers? The Case of the Russian Mass Privatization Program," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 303, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

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