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Wage Arrears and the Distribution of Earnings in Russia

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  • Hartmut Lehmann
  • Jonathan Wadsworth

Abstract

The increase in wage inequality in Russia during its transition process has far exceeded the increase in wage dispersion observed in other European countries undergoing transition. Russia also has an extremely large incidence of wage arrears. We analyse to what extent wage arrears affect the wage distribution and measures of wage equality in Russia. We present counterfactual distributions, derived from a variety of different methods, which suggest that conventional measures of earnings dispersion would be some 20 to 30 per cent lower in the absence of arrears. We then go on to show how wage gaps at various points in the pay distribution across gender, education, region and industry are influenced by a failure to allow for wage arrears. Using our counterfactual estimates we show, for example, that the median gender wage gap would be around twenty-five points higher than the actual gap that we observe. Similarly, the counterfactual ratio of mean graduate pay to mean pay of those with primary education is around twenty points lower than observed. We show that the parameters of the counterfactual wage distributions are very similar to the parameters of the observed wage distributions of those not in arrears. This means that for those wishing to study aspects of wage differentials and inequality in Russia, it may be feasible to use the subset of those not in arrears and still get close to the true population parameters.

Suggested Citation

  • Hartmut Lehmann & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2002. "Wage Arrears and the Distribution of Earnings in Russia," CERT Discussion Papers 0202, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hwe:certdp:0202
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Petra E. Todd & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2001. "Reconciling Conflicting Evidence on the Performance of Propensity-Score Matching Methods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 112-118, May.
    2. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    3. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 1998. "Winners and Losers in Russia's Economic Transition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1094-1116, December.
    4. Lehmann, Hartmut & Wadsworth, Jonathan & Acquisti, Alessandro, 1999. "Grime and Punishment: Job Insecurity and Wage Arrears in the Russian Federation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 595-617, December.
    5. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    6. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
    7. Earle, John S. & Peter, Klara Sabirianova, 2000. "Equilibrium Wage Arrears: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Institutional Lock-In," IZA Discussion Papers 196, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Lehmann, Hartmut & Wadsworth, Jonathan & Acquisti, Alessandro, 1999. "Grime and Punishment: Insecurity and Wage Arrears in the Russian Federation," IZA Discussion Papers 65, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Boyarchuk, Dmytro & Maliar, Lilia & Maliar, Serguei, 2005. "The consumption and welfare implications of wage arrears in transition economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 540-564, September.
    2. Heshmati, Almas, 2004. "Regional Income Inequality in Selected Large Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 1307, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Asad Alam & Mamta Murthi & Ruslan Yemtsov & Edmundo Murrugarra & Nora Dudwick & Ellen Hamilton & Erwin Tiongson, 2005. "Growth, Poverty and Inequality : Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7287, July.
    4. repec:kap:iaecre:v:19:y:2013:i:4:p:331-354 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David Black & Yi-Ping Tseng & Roger Wilkins, 2009. "Examining the Role of Demographic Change in the Decline in Male Employment in Australia: A Propensity Score Re-weighting Decomposition Approach," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2009n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    6. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Klara Sabirianova Peter & Dmitriy Stolyarov, 2010. "Inequality and Volatility Moderation in Russia: Evidence from Micro-Level Panel Data on Consumption and Income," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 209-237, January.
    7. Geishecker, Ingo & Haisken-DeNew, John P., 2004. "Landing on all fours? Communist elites in post-Soviet Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 700-719, December.
    8. Kolenikov, Stanislav & Shorrocks, Anthony, 2003. "A Decomposition Analysis of Regional Poverty in Russia," WIDER Working Paper Series 074, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Dorota Witkowska, 2013. "Gender Disparities in the Labor Market in the EU," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 19(4), pages 331-354, November.
    10. Lilia Maliar & Serguei Maliar, 2003. "A Neoclassical Theory Of Wage Arrears In Transition Economies," Working Papers. Serie AD 2003-15, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    11. Anna LUKIYANOVA, 2008. "Structure and Distribution of Earnings in Russia, 1994–2003," The Journal of Comparative Economic Studies (JCES), The Japanese Society for Comparative Economic Studies (JSCES), vol. 4, pages 9-40, December.
    12. Mitra, Pradeep & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2006. "Increasing inequality in transition economies : is there more to come?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4007, The World Bank.
    13. Lukiyanova, A., 2011. "Wage Inequality in Russian Economic Transition (1991–2008): Stylized Facts and Explanations," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 12, pages 124-147.
    14. Spryskov Dmitry, 2003. "Below the Poverty Line: Duration of Poverty in Russia," EERC Working Paper Series 03-04e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage arrears; earnings inequality; conterfactuals; transition economies;

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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