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The Legacy of Communist Labor Relations

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  • David G. Blanchflower
  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

This paper contrasts International Social Science Programme (ISSP) surveys for Hungary, supplemented with related survey data for East Germany, Poland, and Slovenia, with ISSP data for Western countries, to examine the extent to which workers in traditionally communist societies differ in their attitudes toward work conditions, wage inequality, the role of unions and the role of the state in determining labor market outcomes. We find sufficiently marked differences in responses between Hungary and the other previously communist countries and in Western countries to suggest that communism left an identifiable common legacy in the labor area. The citizens of former communist countries evince a greater desire for egalitarianism, are less satisfied with their jobs, and are more supportive of state interventions in the job market and economy than Westerners. These differences suggest that the move to a market economy will be marked by considerable 'social schizophrenia' due to an attitudinal legacy of their communist past.

Suggested Citation

  • David G. Blanchflower & Richard B. Freeman, 1994. "The Legacy of Communist Labor Relations," NBER Working Papers 4740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4740
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-141, May.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen & Helga Hessenius, 1991. "East Germany in from the Cold: The Economic Aftermath of Currency Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 1-106.
    3. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    4. David G. Blanchflower, 2007. "International Patterns of Union Membership," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(1), pages 1-28, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew Oswald, 2000. "The Rising Well-Being of the Young," NBER Chapters,in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 289-328 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
    3. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    4. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-1831, November.
    5. Migheli, Matteo, 2010. "Supporting the free and competitive market in China and India: Differences and evolution over time," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 73-90, March.
    6. Migheli, Matteo, 2009. "The two sides of a ghost: Twenty years without the wall," POLIS Working Papers 125, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.

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