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Tenures That Shook the World: Worker Turnover in Russia, Poland, and Britain

  • Lehmann, Hartmut
  • Wadsworth, Jonathan

We study worker turnover in a transition economy to investigate to what extent the length of time a worker has been employed by a firm shapes the turnover process. Using data from the Polish Labour Force Survey and The Russian Longitudinal Monitor Survey we compare the pattern of turnover with a Western economy, Britain. We show tenure profiles are higher and flatter in Russia, and steeper and lower in Poland, than in Britain. The characteristics of workers hired in the state and private sectors do not look very different. State and private sector firms in Poland offer the same wages to new recruits, but new private sector jobs in Russia appear to offer wage premia relative to new state jobs. We argue that these observations are consistent with a framework where the value of seniority in jobs begun under the old order may be small and the value of a continued job match unsure, offset, in Poland at least, by insider resistance to layoffs. Classification JEL: J6.

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

Volume (Year): 28 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 639-664

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:28:y:2000:i:4:p:639-664
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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  1. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Aghion, Philippe, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition in Central Europe," Scholarly Articles 4481322, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Lehmann, Hartmut & Schaffer, Mark E, 1995. " Productivity, Employment and Labor Demand in Polish Industry in the 1980s: Some Preliminary Results from Enterprise-Level Data," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 1-27.
  13. Joseph Altonji & R. Shakotko, 1985. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority?," Working Papers 567, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  18. Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
  19. Philippe Aghion & Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition Central Europe," NBER Working Papers 4736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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