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Grime and Punishment: Job Insecurity and Wage Arrears in the Russian Federation

  • Lehmann, Hartmut
  • Wadsworth, Jonathan
  • Acquisti, Alessandro

Using information from two complementary household survey data sets, we show that for many Russian workers, the dominant form of labor market adjustment in the transition process has been the delayed receipt of wages. Other forms of adjustment at the intensive margin have not been used much. Wage arrears are found across the private, state and budgetary sector. There are large regional variations in the incidence of wage arrears. Workers in the metropolitan center are significantly less affected by delayed and incomplete wage payments than workers in the provinces. There is less evidence that individual characteristics contribute much toward the incidence of wage arrears. As with the incidence of unemployment however, there is evidence that the persistence of arrears is concentrated on a subset of the working population. We show that workers can only exercise the exit option of a job quit from a firm paying wages in arrears if the outside labor market is sufficiently dynamic.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 595-617

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:27:y:1999:i:4:p:595-617
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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  1. Shleifer, Andrei, 1997. "Government in transition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 385-410, April.
  2. Hartmut Lehmann & Jonathan Wadsworth, 1999. "Tenures that Shook the World: Worker Turnover in Russia, Poland and Britain," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 160, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. Richard Layard & Andrea Richter, 1995. "How much unemployment is needed for restructing: the Russian experience," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 3(1), pages 39-58, 03.
  4. Mark C. Foley, 1997. "Labor Market Dynamics in Russia," Working Papers 780, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  5. A. Richter & M.E. Schaffer, 1996. "The Performance of De Novo Private Firms in Russian Manufacturing," CERT Discussion Papers 9610, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  6. Lehmann, Hartmut & Wadsworth, Jonathan & Acquisti,Alessandro, 1998. "Grime And Punishment: Job Insecurity And Wage Arrears in The Russian Federation," Economics Technical Papers 986, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  7. Paul Gregg & Jonathan Wadsworth, 1996. "Mind the Gap," CEP Discussion Papers dp0303, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Foley, M.C., 1997. "Multiple Job Holding in Russia During Economic Transition," Papers 781, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  9. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
  10. Foley, M.C., 1997. "Labor Market Dynamics in Russia," Papers 780, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  11. G. Alfandari & M.E. Schaffer, 1996. ""Arrears" in the Russian Enterprise Sector," CERT Discussion Papers 9608, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  12. Mark C. Foley, 1997. "Multiple Job Holding in Russia During Economic Transition," Working Papers 781, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  13. 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).
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