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Attaching Workers Through In-kind Payments: Theory and Evidence from Russia

  • Guido Friebel

    ()

    (University of Toulouse (EHESS and IDEI), CEPR, IZA)

  • Sergei Guriev

    ()

    (New Economic School/CEFIR and CEPR)

As a result of external shocks, the productivity of fixed capital may sometimes decrease in certain regions of an economy. There are exogenous obstacles to migration that make it hard for workers to reallocate to more profitable regions. We point to an endogenous obstacle that has not been considered before. Firms may devise “attachment” strategies to keep workers from moving out of a local labor market. When workers are compensated in kind, they find it difficult to raise the cash needed for migration. We show, first, that the feasibility of attachment depends on the inherited structure of local labor markets: Attachment can exist in equilibrium only if the labor market is sufficiently concentrated. Second, attachment is beneficial for both employers and employed workers, but it hurts unemployed and self-employed. An analysis of matched household-firm data from Russia corroborates our theory.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0057.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in World Bank Economic Review, September 2005
Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0057
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  1. Simon Commander & Mark Schankerman, 1997. "Enterprise restructuring and social benefits," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, 05.
  2. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Looking Into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," CEP Discussion Papers dp0470, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Guido Friebel & Sergei Guriev, 1999. "Why Russian Workers Do Not Move: Attachment of Workers Through In-Kind Payments," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 283, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
  5. Joanne Salop & Steve Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  9. Salop, Joanne & Salop, Steven, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-27, November.
  10. Pertti Haaparanta & Tuuli Juurikkala & Olga Lazareva & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya & Jukka Pirttilä & Laura Solanko, 2004. "Firms and public service provision in Russia," Macroeconomics 0401015, EconWPA.
  11. Rama, Martin & Scott, Kinnon, 1999. "Labor Earnings in One-Company Towns: Theory and Evidence from Kazakhstan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 185-209, January.
  12. Grosfeld, Irena & Senik-Leygonie, Claudia & Verdier, Thierry & Kolenikov, Stanislav & Paltseva, Elena, 2001. "Workers' Heterogeneity and Risk Aversion: A Segmentation Model of the Russian Labor Market," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 230-256, June.
  13. Heleniak, Timothy, 1999. "Migration from the Russian north during the transition period," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20818, The World Bank.
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  15. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
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