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Lobbying at the local level: social assets in Russian firms

  • Tuuli Juurikkala

    ()

    (Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition)

  • Olga Lazareva

    ()

    (CEFIR)

In the planned economy firms were made responsible for providing their workers with social services, such as housing, day care and medical care. In the transforming Russia of the 1990s, social assets were to be transferred from industrial enterprises to the public sector. The law on divestment provided little more than general principles. Thus, for a period of several years, property rights concerning a major part of social assets, most notably housing, were not properly defined, as transfer decisions were largely left to the local level players. Strikingly, the time when assets were divested varied considerably across firms. In this paper we utilize recent survey data from 404 medium and large industrial enterprises in 40 Russian regions and apply survival data analysis to explore the determinants of divestiture timing. Our results show that in municipalities with higher shares of own revenues in their budget and thus weaker fiscal incentives, firms used their social assets as leverage to extract budget assistance and other forms of preferential treatment from local authorities. We also find evidence that less competitive firms were using social assets to cushion themselves from product market competition. At the same time, we do not find any role for local labor market conditions in the divestment process.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0061.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0061
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  1. J. David Brown & John S. Earle, 2000. "Competition and Firm Performance: Lessons from Russia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 296, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Angelucci, Manuela & Bevan, Alan & Estrin, Saul & Fennema, Julian A & Kuznetsov, Boris & Mangiarotti, Giovanni & Schaffer, Mark E, 2002. "The Determinants of Privatized Enterprise Performance in Russia," CEPR Discussion Papers 3193, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Juurikkala, Tuuli & Lazareva, Olga, 2006. "Non-wage benefits, costs of turnover, and labor attachment: Evidence from Russian firms," BOFIT Discussion Papers 4/2006, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  4. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
  5. Garel Rhys, 2001. "The Modern Motor Industry," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(1), pages 9-29, January.
  6. L.M. Freinkman & I. Starodubrovskaya, 1996. "Restructuring of Enterprise Social Assets in Russia: Trends, Problems, Possible Solutions," Working Papers wp96052, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
  7. Peter Oppenheimer & Brigitte Granville, 2001. "Russia’s Post-Communist Economy," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(1), pages 149-168, January.
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