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Redefining Informality and Measuring its Determinants: Evidence from the Russian Labour Market


  • Hartmut Lehmann
  • Anzelika Zaiceva


Although informality impacts countries' economic development, the recent recession may have increased the incidence of informal activities. We take advantage of a rich data set on Russia before and after the economic downturn and demonstrate that the incidence of informal employment varies across the definitions. However, the determinants of informal employment are roughly stable across different measures, apart from firm size. Employing a direct measure of risk attitudes, we also show that risk‐averse individuals are less likely to select themselves into informality. Regressions suggest a lower likelihood to be a formal employee post‐2008, especially for individuals with little education and immigrants. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Hartmut Lehmann & Anzelika Zaiceva, 2015. "Redefining Informality and Measuring its Determinants: Evidence from the Russian Labour Market," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 464-488, 05-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:27:y:2015:i:4:p:464-488

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    Cited by:

    1. Niels-Hugo Blunch, 2015. "Bound to lose, bound to win? The financial crisis and the informal-formal sector earnings gap in Serbia," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-34, December.
    2. Wang, Feicheng & Liang, Zhe & Lehmann, Hartmut, 2021. "Import competition and informal employment: Empirical evidence from China," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 426, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    3. Altay Mussurov & Dena Sholk & G. Reza Arabsheibani, 2019. "Informal employment in Kazakhstan: a blessing in disguise?," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 9(2), pages 267-284, June.
    4. Alina Malkova & Klara Sabirianova Peter & Jan Svejnar, 2021. "Labor Informality and Credit Market Accessibility," Papers 2102.05803,
    5. Ilya B. Voskoboynikov, 2020. "Structural Change, Expanding Informality and Labor Productivity Growth in Russia," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(2), pages 394-417, June.

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