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Informality in the Russian Labor Market: What Do Alternative Definitions Tell Us?

Listed author(s):
  • Kapeliushnikov, I.

    (Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
    Centre for Labour Market Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

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    According to the existing literature, informality rates for Russia vary in a wide range from slightly more than 5 to nearly 30%. The question arises: what are the causes and consequences of such a huge variation? Using RMLS data for 2009 the author investigates the degree of congruence between several alternative definitions of the informal employment in the context of the Russian labor market. Analysis shows that depending on empirical definitions informality rates considerably differ - from 11 to 24%. With different approaches not only the scale of the informal employment but also its socio-demographic profile radically changes. Furthermore, the econometric analysis reveals that the conditional impact of particular factors on the risk of informality varies considerably from one definition to another. This suggests that the existing estimates of the informal employment for Russia could hardly be regarded as methodologically robust.

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    File URL: http://www.econorus.org/repec/journl/2013-20-52-83r.pdf
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    Article provided by New Economic Association in its journal Journal of the New Economic Association.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 52-83

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    Handle: RePEc:nea:journl:y:2013:i:20:p:52-83
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    1. Gong, Xiaodong & Van Soest, Arthur & Villagomez, Elizabeth, 2004. "Mobility in the Urban Labor Market: A Panel Data Analysis for Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-36, October.
    2. Mead, Donald C. & Morrisson, Christian, 1996. "The informal sector elephant," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1611-1619, October.
    3. Henley, Andrew & Arabsheibani, Reza & Carneiro, Francisco G., 2006. "On Defining and Measuring the Informal Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 2473, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Marcouiller, Douglas & Ruiz de Castilla, Veronica & Woodruff, Christopher, 1997. "Formal Measures of the Informal-Sector Wage Gap in Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 367-392, January.
    5. Gasparini Leonardo & Leonardo Tornaroli, 2009. "Labor Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean: Patterns and Trends from Household Survey Microdata," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, September.
    6. repec:ilo:ilowps:375000 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jaime Saavedra & Alberto Chong, 1999. "Structural reform, institutions and earnings: Evidence from the formal and informal sectors in urban Peru," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 95-116.
    8. Guillermo E. Perry & William F. Maloney & Omar S. Arias & Pablo Fajnzylber & Andrew D. Mason & Jaime Saavedra-Chanduvi, 2007. "Informality : Exit and Exclusion," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6730, April.
    9. Hussmanns, Ralf., 2004. "Measuring the informal economy : from employment in the formal sector to informal employment," ILO Working Papers 993750003402676, International Labour Organization.
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