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Worker Training in a Restructuring Economy: Evidence from the Russian Transition

  • Berger, Mark C.

    (CBER, University of Kentucky)

  • Earle, John S.

    ()

    (George Mason University)

  • Peter, Klara Sabirianova

    ()

    (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

We use 1994-1998 data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) to measure the incidence and determinants of several types of worker training and to estimate the effects of training on workers’ interindustry, interfirm, and occupational mobility, their labor force transitions, and their wage growth in Russia compared to the U.S. We hypothesize that the shock of economic liberalization in Russia may raise the benefits of training, particularly retraining for new jobs, but uncertainty concerning the revaluation of skills may raise the costs, with an overall ambiguous effect on the amount of training undertaken. The RLMS indicates a lower rate of formal training than studies have found for the U.S., suggesting that the second effect dominates. Previous schooling is estimated to affect the probability of training positively, but the relationship is much stronger for additional training in the same field than for retraining for new fields, consistent with the hypothesis that schooling and training are complementary but become more substitutable in a restructuring environment. Additional training in workers’ current fields is estimated to reduce mobility and earnings, suggesting inertial programs from the pre-transition era. Retraining in new fields increases all types of worker mobility and has higher returns than those typically observed for training in the U.S., but it also raises the variance of earnings and the probability of unemployment, consistent with a search view of such retraining. Given the large returns to retraining, the efforts of Russian workers to learn new skills may increase as uncertainty is resolved and restructuring proceeds.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp361.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 361.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Research in Labor Economics, 2001, 20, 159-190
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp361
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  1. Christopher J. O'Leary & Piotr Kolodziejczyk & Gyorgy Lazar, . "The Net Impact of Active Labour Market Programmes in Hungary and Poland," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles cjo19983, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  2. Lubyova, M. & van Ours, J.C., 1998. "Effects of Active Labor Market Programs on the Transition Rate from Unemployment into Regular Jobs in the Slovak Republic," Discussion Paper 1998-127, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Tito Boeri & Christopher J. Flinn, 1999. "Returns to Mobility in the Transition to a Market Economy," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 217, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Christopher J. O'Leary, . "A Net Impact Analysis of Active Labour Programmes in Hungary," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles cjo1997, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  5. Daniel Parent, 1995. "Wages and Mobility: The Impact of Employer-Provided Training," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-27, CIRANO.
  6. Kluve, Jochen & Lehmann, Hartmut & Schmidt, Christoph M, 1999. "Active Labour Market Policies in Poland: Human Capital Enhancement, Stigmatization or Benefit Churning?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2059, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Catalin Pauna & John S. Earle, 1998. "Long-term unemployment, social assistance and labor market policies in Romania," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1/2), pages 203-235.
  8. Lechner, Michael, 1996. "An Evaluation of Public Sector Sponsored Continuous Vocational Training Programs in East Germany," Discussion Papers 539, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
  9. Jonathan R. Veum, 1995. "Sources of Training and Their Impact on Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 812-826, July.
  10. Terrell, Katherine & Sorm, Vit, 1999. "Labor Market Policies and Unemployment in the Czech Republic," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 33-60, March.
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  12. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:403-438 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1999. "Do Workers Pay for On-The-Job Training?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 235-252.
  14. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1995. "Technological Change and the Skill Acquisition of Young Workers," NBER Working Papers 5107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1997. "Technological Change and Wages: An Inter-Industry Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Lisa M. Lynch & Sandra E. Black, 1998. "Beyond the incidence of employer-provided training," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 64-81, October.
  17. Jonathan R. Veum, 1997. "Training and job mobility among young workers in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 219-233.
  18. Mark A. Loewenstein & James R. Spletzer, 1997. "Delayed formal on-the-job training," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(1), pages 82-99, October.
  19. John S. Earle & Klara Z. Sabirianova, 2002. "How Late to Pay? Understanding Wage Arrears in Russia," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 661-707, July.
  20. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1997. "On-the-Job Training," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ojt, March.
  21. Jonathan R. Veum, 1995. "Sources of training and their impact on wages," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 812-826, July.
  22. Alan Felstead & Francis Green & Ken Mayhew & Alan Pack, 1999. "The Impact of Training on Labour Mobility," Studies in Economics 9910, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  23. Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
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