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Job Separations, Job Loss and Informality in the Russian Labor Market

  • H. Lehmann
  • T. Razzolini
  • A. Zaiceva

Having unique data we investigate the link between job separations (displacement and quits) and informal employment, which we define in several ways posing the general question whether the burden of informality falls disproportionately on job separators in the Russian labor market. After we have established positive causal effects of displacement and quits on informal employment we analyze whether displaced workers experience more involuntary informal employment than their non-displaced counterparts. Our main results confirm our contention that displacement entraps some of the workers in involuntary informal employment. Those who quit, in turn, experience voluntary informality for the most part, but there seems a minority of quitting workers who end up in involuntary informal jobs. This scenario does not fall on all the workers who separate but predominantly on workers with low human capital. We also pursue the issue of informality persistence and find that informal employment is indeed persistent as some workers churn from one informal job to the next. Our study contributes to the debate in the informality literature regarding segmented versus integrated labor markets. It also contributes to the literature on displacement by establishing informal employment as an important cost of displacement. We also look at the share of undeclared wages in formal jobs and find that these shares are larger for separators than for incumbents, with displaced workers bearing the brunt of this manifestation of informality.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp800.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp800
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  1. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
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  12. Daniel Sullivan & Till von Wachter, 2009. "Job Displacement and Mortality: An Analysis Using Administrative Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1265-1306, August.
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  14. H. Lehmann & A. Muravyev & T. Razzolini & A. Zaiceva, 2011. "The Wage and Non-wage Costs of Displacement: Evidence from Russia," Working Papers wp734, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  15. Thomas Dohmen & Melanie Khamis & Hartmut Lehmann, 2010. "Risk Attitudes and the Incidence of Informality among Workers: Evidence from a Transition Country," ESCIRRU Working Papers 22, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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  19. repec:ebd:wpaper:101 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Leombruni, Roberto & Razzolini, Tiziano & Serti, Francesco, 2013. "The pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of job displacement—The risky job of being back to work," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 205-216.
  21. Krstic, Gorana & Sanfey, Peter, 2007. "Mobility, poverty and well-being among the informally employed in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 311-335, September.
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