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Informal Employment in Russia: Combining Disadvantages and Opportunities


  • Irina Merkuryeva


The paper discusses the problem of informal employment in Russia, its structure and the factors contributing to the individual decisions making when choosing specific employment type. Informal employment is a highly diverse area comprising individuals with different profiles and motivations to prefer specific informal options over formal employment. Empirical findings using the 2003 NOBUS dataset confirm that defined groups of informally employed individuals are consistently different according to their main characteristics. This finding allows us to regard informal employment as a superior entrepreneurial sector or an inferior disadvantaged sector of the labour market depending on the specific segment.

Suggested Citation

  • Irina Merkuryeva, 2006. "Informal Employment in Russia: Combining Disadvantages and Opportunities," CERT Discussion Papers 0606, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hwe:certdp:0606

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Byung-Yeon Kim, 2002. "The participation of Russian households in the informal economy: Evidence from the VTsIOM data," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 10(3), pages 689-717, November.
    2. Foley, M.C., 1997. "Multiple Job Holding in Russia During Economic Transition," Papers 781, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    3. Mark C. Foley, 1997. "Multiple Job Holding in Russia During Economic Transition," Working Papers 781, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    4. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yuriy Timofeyev, 2013. "The Effects of the Informal Sector on Income of the Poor in Russia," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(3), pages 855-866, May.

    More about this item


    Informal employment; Russia; labour markets;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies

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