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The Legacy of Communist Labor Relations

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  • David Blanchflower
  • Richard Freeman

Abstract

This paper uses the International Social Science Programme (ISSP) surveys for Hungary and a set of Western countries, supplemented with related survey data for East Germany, Poland, and Slovenia, to examine the extent to which workers in traditionally communist societies differ in their attitudes towards work conditions, wage inequality, the role of the unions and the role of the state in determining labor market outcomes. We find sufficient similarity in responses between Hungary and the other previously communist countries and sufficiently marked differences in responses between their responses and those in several Western countries to suggest that communism left an identifiable common legacy in the labor area. The citizens of former communist countries evince a greater desire for egalitarianism than do Westerners, are less satisfied with their jobs and less satisfied with their lives, and are more supportive of state intervention. If our interpretation is correct, their move to a market economy will be marked by considerable "social schizophrenia" due to an attitudinal legacy of their communist past.

Suggested Citation

  • David Blanchflower & Richard Freeman, 1993. "The Legacy of Communist Labor Relations," CEP Discussion Papers dp0180, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0180
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-141, May.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen & Helga Hessenius, 1991. "East Germany in from the Cold: The Economic Aftermath of Currency Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 1-106.
    3. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    4. David G. Blanchflower, 2007. "International Patterns of Union Membership," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(1), pages 1-28, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew Oswald, 2000. "The Rising Well-Being of the Young," NBER Chapters,in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 289-328 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    3. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
    4. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-1831, November.
    5. Migheli, Matteo, 2010. "Supporting the free and competitive market in China and India: Differences and evolution over time," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 73-90, March.
    6. Migheli, Matteo, 2009. "The two sides of a ghost: Twenty years without the wall," POLIS Working Papers 125, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.

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