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Labor Hoarding in Russia: Where Does it Come From?

  • Rouslan Koumakhov
  • Boris Najman

The paper focuses on the labor "hoarding" problem in Russian. We studied two forms of "hoarding": unpaid leaves and short-time work. Our research is based on the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) database. The paper exploits individual panel data between 1994 and 1996. We show that unpaid leaves and short-time work do not represent a form of hidden unemployment. Both types of labor "hoarding" reflect the nature of employees' professional competencies. First, unpaid leaves concern primarily the employees with firm-specific knowledge, while short-time work affects strongly unskilled workers. Second, external mobility is mostly related to young people and unskilled blue-collar workers while employees with specific competencies do not change jobs so much. The paper insists on significant internal adjustments which are taking place through unpaid leaves and short-time work. This explains why there has been no massive unemployment in Russia until now. In conclusion, Russian labor market is characterized rather by internal flexibility than by labor "hoarding".

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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 394.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2001-394
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  1. Gimpelson, Vladimir & Lippoldt, Douglas, 1999. "Labour Turnover in Russia: Evidence from the Administrative Reporting of Enterprises in Four Regions," Transition Economics Series 4, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  2. Richard Layard & Ansgar Richter, 1995. "How Much Unemployment is Needed for Restructuring?: The Russian Experience," CEP Discussion Papers dp0238, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Fay, Jon A & Medoff, James L, 1985. "Labor and Output over the Business Cycle: Some Direct Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 638-55, September.
  4. Susan J. Linz, 1998. "Job Rights in Russian Firms: Endangered or Extinct Institution?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 128, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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