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Why Russian Workers Do Not Move: Attachment of Workers Through In-Kind Payments

  • Guido Friebel
  • Sergei Guriev

We relate the phenomena of sluggish interregional labour reallocation, in-kind compensation, and wage arrears in Russia to 'attachment' strategies of firms: being paid in non-monetary forms makes it hard for workers to raise the cash needed for quitting the region. Attachment may facilitate relation-specific investments, but it may also be used to exploit workers because it eliminates workers' outside options. We show that exploitation does not only happen if regional labour markets are monoposonistic. Even if there is some competition, all firms in a region may use attachment strategies. Here, workers are locked-in and do not receive any compensation for their forgone option to move. Data of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) support our theory. Workers who receive in-kind payments have 19% lower probability to move than workers who do receive their wages in cash.

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Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 283.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1999-283
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  1. Grosfeld, Irena & Kolenikov, Stanislav & Paltseva, Elena & Sénik-Leygonie, Claudia & Verdier, Thierry, 1999. "Dynamism and Inertia on the Russian Labour Market: A Model of Segmentation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2224, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Annette N. Brown, 1997. "The Economic Determinants of the Internal Migration Flows in Russia During Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 89, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. Brigitte C. Madrian, 1993. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Job Mobility: Is There Evidence ofJob-Lock?," NBER Working Papers 4476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Aghion, P. & Blanchard, O.J., 1993. "On the Speed of Transition in Central Europe," Working papers 93-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-79, December.
  6. Faggio, Giulia & Konings, Jozef, 1999. "Gross Job Flows and Firm Growth in Transition Countries: Evidence Using Firm Level Data on Five Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. John S. Earle, 1999. "Post-Privatisation Ownership Structure and Productivity in Russian Industrial Enterprises," Working Papers 1999.19, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  8. Alston, Lee J & Ferrie, Joseph P, 1993. "Paternalism in Agricultural Labor Contracts in the U.S. South: Implications for the Growth of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 852-76, September.
  9. Marin, Dalia & Schnitzer, Monika, 1995. "Tying Trade Flows: A Theory of Countertrade with Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1047-64, December.
  10. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
  11. Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Payments in Kind," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 244, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 10 Feb 2000.
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