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Employment Determination in Enterprises under Communism and in Transition: Evidence from Central Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Basu, Swati

    () (McGill University)

  • Estrin, Saul

    () (London School of Economics)

  • Svejnar, Jan

    () (Columbia University)

Abstract

In this paper, we present a comparative analysis of employment determination in four transition economies as they move from central planning to a market economy in the early 1990s. We use firm level panel data sets from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia to estimate dynamic employment equations for the period immediately before and after the start of transition. We find evidence that firms behave for the most part as if they were on their labor demand curves, with little evidence of labor hoarding. There were significant cross-country variations in the determinants of employment during the reform process however. Hungarian and Polish firms started the transition already substantially reformed, and became even more responsive to market signals as transition proceeded. In contrast, firms in the Czech and Slovak republics started in the completely unresponsive mode characteristic of central planning, but rapidly caught up with their counterparts in Hungary and Poland.

Suggested Citation

  • Basu, Swati & Estrin, Saul & Svejnar, Jan, 2004. "Employment Determination in Enterprises under Communism and in Transition: Evidence from Central Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1370, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1370
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cor:louvrp:-12 is not listed on IDEAS
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    6. Nickell, S.J., 1987. "Dynamic models of labour demand," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 473-522 Elsevier.
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    8. Lubomir Lizal & Miroslav Singer & Jan Svejnar, 2001. "Enterprise Breakups And Performance During The Transition From Plan To Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 92-99, February.
    9. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
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    12. Ham, John C & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 1998. "Unemployment and the Social Safety Net during Transitions to a Market Economy: Evidence from the Czech and Slovak Republics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1117-1142, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2005. "The Wage Curve Reloaded," NBER Working Papers 11338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jun Han & Junsen Zhang, 2010. "Wages, participation and unemployment in the economic transition of urban China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 18(3), pages 513-538, July.
    3. Ralitza Dimova, 2006. "Monopolistic wages or efficient contracts?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(2), pages 321-347, April.
    4. Vit Storm & Katherine Terrell, 1999. "A Comparitive Look at Labor Mobility in the Czech Republic: Where Have all the Workers Gone?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 140, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    5. Svejnar, Jan, 2007. "China in Light of the Performance of Central and East European Economies," IZA Discussion Papers 2791, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Pierella Paci & Erwin R. Tiongson & Mateusz Walewski & Jacek Liwinski & Maria M. Stoilkova, 2007. "Internal Labor Mobility in Central Europe and the Baltic Region," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6598.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    transition economies; employment determination;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

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