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Nonstandard Forms and Measures of Employment and Unemployment in Transition: A Comparative Study of Estonia, Romania, and Russia

  • J David Brown

    ([1] Heriot-Watt University, UK [2] CEU Labor Project, Hungary [3] IZA, Germany)

  • John S Earle

    ()

    ([1] Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, USA [2] CEU Labor Project, Hungary [3] 300 South Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, USA.)

  • Vladimir Gimpelson

    ([1] CLMS, Higher School of Economics, Russia [2] IZA, Germany)

  • Rostislav Kapeliushnikov

    (CLMS, Higher School of Economics, Russia)

  • Hartmut Lehmann

    ([1] University of Bologna, Italy [2] Heriot-Watt University, UK [3] Labor Group EROC, Kiev School of Economics, Ukraine [4] IZA, Germany)

  • �lmos Telegdy

    (CEU Labor Project, Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary)

  • Irina Vantu

    (CEU Labor Project, Hungary)

  • Ruxandra Visan

    (CEU Labor Project, Hungary)

  • Alexandru Voicu

    ([1] City University of New York, Staten Island College, USA [2] IZA, Germany)

This paper looks behind the standard, publicly available labor force statistics relied upon in most studies of transition economy labor markets. We analyse microdata on detailed labor force survey (LFS) responses in Russia, Romania, and Estonia to measure nonstandard, boundary forms and alternative definitions of employment and unemployment. Our calculations show that measured rates are quite sensitive to definition, particularly in the treatment of household production (subsistence agriculture), unpaid family helpers, and discouraged workers, while the categories of part-time work and other forms of marginal attachment are still relatively unimportant. We find that tweaking the official definitions in apparently minor ways can produce alternative employment rates that are sharply higher in Russia but much lower in Romania and slightly lower in Estonia, and alternative unemployment rates that are sharply higher in Romania and moderately higher in Estonia and Russia. Comparative Economic Studies (2006) 48, 435–457. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ces.8100181

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Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Comparative Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 48 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 435-457

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Handle: RePEc:pal:compes:v:48:y:2006:i:3:p:435-457
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  1. Hartmut Lehmann & Jonathan Wadsworth & Alessandro Acquisti, 1999. "Grime and Punishment: Job Insecurity and Wage Arrears in the Russian Federation," CERT Discussion Papers 9907, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  2. John S. Earle & Klara Sabirianova Peter, . "How Late to Pay? Understanding Wage Arrears in Russia," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles jse20023, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  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. Earle, John S. & Sakova, Zuzana, 2000. "Business start-ups or disguised unemployment? Evidence on the character of self-employment from transition economies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 575-601, September.
  5. Tito Boeri & Katherine Terrell, 2001. "Institutional Determinants of Labor Reallocation in Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 384, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  6. 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).
  7. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
  8. John S. Earle, 1997. "Industrial Decline and Labor Reallocation in Romania," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 118, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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