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Grime and Punishment: Insecurity and Wage Arrears in the Russian Federation

  • Lehmann, Hartmut

    ()

    (University of Bologna)

  • Wadsworth, Jonathan

    ()

    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

  • Acquisti, Alessandro

    ()

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

Using information from two complementary household survey data sets, we show that the dominant form of labor market adjustment in the Russian transition process has been the delayed receipt of wages. More than half the workforce is experiencing some form of disruption to their pay. Wage arrears are found across the private, state and budgetary sector. Workers in the metropolitan center are less affected by delayed and incomplete wage payments than workers in the provinces. There is less evidence that individual characteristics contribute much toward the incidence of wage arrears, but the persistence of arrears is concentrated on a subset of the working population. We show that workers can only exercise the exit option of a job quit from a firm not paying wages in full or on time if the outside labor market is sufficiently dynamic.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 65.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Oct 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Comparative Economics, 27 (1999), 595-617; see IZA Reprints 25/00
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp65
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  1. Hartmut Lehmann & Jonathan Wadsworth, 1999. "Tenures that Shook the World: Worker Turnover in Russia, Poland and Britain," CERT Discussion Papers 9909, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  2. Shleifer, Andrei, 1997. "Government in transition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 385-410, April.
  3. Hartmut Lehmann & Jonathan Wadsworth & Alessandro Acquisti, 1999. "Grime and Punishment: Job Insecurity and Wage Arrears in the Russian Federation," CERT Discussion Papers 9907, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  4. Gregg, Paul & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2000. "Mind the Gap, Please: The Changing Nature of Entry Jobs in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(268), pages 499-524, November.
  5. G. Alfandari & M.E. Schaffer, 1996. ""Arrears" in the Russian Enterprise Sector," CERT Discussion Papers 9608, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  6. Foley, M.C., 1997. "Multiple Job Holding in Russia During Economic Transition," Papers 781, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  7. Richard Layard & Andrea Richter, 1995. "How much unemployment is needed for restructing: the Russian experience," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 3(1), pages 39-58, 03.
  8. Mark C. Foley, 1997. "Multiple Job Holding in Russia During Economic Transition," Working Papers 781, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  9. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
  10. Mark C. Foley, 1997. "Labor Market Dynamics in Russia," Working Papers 780, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  11. Foley, M.C., 1997. "Labor Market Dynamics in Russia," Papers 780, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
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