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Worker Training in a Restructuring Economy: Evidence from the Russian Transition

In: Worker Wellbeing in a Changing Labor Market

We use 1994-1998 data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) to measure the incidence and determinants of several types of worker training and to estimate the effects of training on workers’ interindustry, interfirm, and occupational mobility, their labor force transitions, and their wage growth in Russia compared to the U.S. We hypothesize that the shock of economic liberalization in Russia may raise the benefits of training, particularly retraining for new jobs, but uncertainty concerning the revaluation of skills may raise the costs, with an overall ambiguous effect on the amount of training undertaken. The RLMS indicates a lower rate of formal training than studies have found for the U.S., suggesting that the second effect dominates. Previous schooling is estimated to affect the probability of training positively, but the relationship is much stronger for additional training in the same field than for retraining for new fields, consistent with the hypothesis that schooling and training are complementary but become more substitutable in a restructuring environment. Additional training in workers’ current fields is estimated to reduce mobility and earnings, suggesting inertial programs from the pre-transition era. Retraining in new fields increases all types of worker mobility and has higher returns than those typically observed for training in the U.S., but it also raises the variance of earnings and the probability of unemployment, consistent with a search view of such retraining. Given the large returns to retraining, the efforts of Russian workers to learn new skills may increase as uncertainty is resolved and restructuring proceeds.

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This chapter was published in: Soloman W. Polachek (ed.) Worker Wellbeing in a Changing Labor Market, Elsevier Science, pages 159-189, 2001.
This item is provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers with number mbjseks.
Handle: RePEc:upj:uchaps:mbjseks
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  1. Lechner, Michael, 1996. "An Evaluation of Public Sector Sponsored Continuous Vocational Training Programs in East Germany," Discussion Papers 539, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
  2. Orazem, Peter F. & Vodopivec, Milan, 1997. "Value of human capital in transition to market: Evidence from Slovenia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 893-903, April.
  3. Tito Boeri & Christopher Flinn, 1997. "Returns to Mobility in the transition to a Market Economy," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 108, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1995. "Technological Change and the Skill Acquisition of Young Workers," NBER Working Papers 5107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1999. "Do Workers Pay for On-The-Job Training?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 235-252.
  6. Catalin Pauna & John S. Earle, 1998. "Long-term unemployment, social assistance and labor market policies in Romania," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1/2), pages 203-235.
  7. Christopher J. O'Leary & Piotr Kolodziejczyk & Gyorgy Lazar, . "The Net Impact of Active Labour Market Programmes in Hungary and Poland," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles cjo19983, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  8. Daniel Parent, 1995. "Wages and Mobility: The Impact of Employer-Provided Training," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-27, CIRANO.
  9. Terrell, Katherine & Sorm, Vit, 1999. "Labor Market Policies and Unemployment in the Czech Republic," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 33-60, March.
  10. Lisa M. Lynch & Sandra E. Black, 1998. "Beyond the Incidence of Employer-Provided Training," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 64-81, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Kluve, Jochen & Lehmann, Hartmut & Schmidt, Christoph M., 1999. "Active Labor Market Policies in Poland: Human Capital Enhancement, Stigmatization or Benefit Churning," IZA Discussion Papers 30, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Mark A. Loewenstein & James R. Spletzer, 1997. "Delayed Formal on-the-job Training," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(1), pages 82-99, October.
  14. Christopher J. O'Leary, 1997. "A net impact analysis of active labour programmes in Hungary," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 5(2), pages 453-484, November.
  15. Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
  16. Lubyova, Martina & van Ours, Jan C., 1999. "Effects of Active Labor Market Programs on the Transition Rate from Unemployment into Regular Jobs in the Slovak Republic," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 90-112, March.
  17. Jonathan R. Veum, 1997. "Training and job mobility among young workers in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 219-233.
  18. Alan Felstead & Francis Green & Ken Mayhew & Alan Pack, 1999. "The Impact of Training on Labour Mobility," Studies in Economics 9910, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  19. Jonathan R. Veum, 1995. "Sources of Training and Their Impact on Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 812-826, July.
  20. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:403-438 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1999. "Technological Change and Wages: An Interindustry Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 285-325, April.
  22. Mark A. Loewenstein & James R. Spletzer, 1997. "Delayed formal on-the-job training," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(1), pages 82-99, October.
  23. Jonathan R. Veum, 1995. "Sources of training and their impact on wages," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 812-826, July.
  24. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1997. "On-the-Job Training," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ojt, June.
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