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The Incidence and Cost of Job Loss in a Transition Economy: Displaced Workers in Estonia, 1989-1999

  • Hartmut Lehmann

    ()

  • Kaia Phillips
  • Jonathan Wadsworth

    ()

We examine the pattern and costs of worker displacement in one of the more reform- oriented transition countries, Estonia, as the transition process develops. Using Labour Force Survey data covering the period 1989-1999, we show that after the initial shock, displacement rates in Estonia have fallen back to levels observed in several western economies, as the economy picks up. The incidence of displacement is also similar to that in the West – concentrated on the less skilled and those with short job tenure. Roughly half of those displaced find re-employment within two months while the other half lingers on in the state of non-employment. There is less evidence however of a wage penalty to job loss, unlike in some Western countries, a fact one might attribute more to the nature of the transition process than to wage setting institutions in Estonia. The main cost of displacement is then the income loss due to non-employment, which is severe for a minority of workers who experience long-term non-employment.

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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 489.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2002-489
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  1. Pfann, Gerard A., 2001. "Downsizing," IZA Discussion Papers 307, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    • Gerard A. Pfann, 2001. "Downsizing," Working Papers 0110, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  2. Tito Boeri & Katherine Terrell, 2002. "Institutional Determinants of Labor Reallocation in Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 51-76, Winter.
  3. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
  4. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
  5. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
  6. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-79, June.
  7. Davis, Steven J. & Haltiwanger, John, 1999. "Gross job flows," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2711-2805 Elsevier.
  8. Hartmut Lehmann & Jonathan Wadsworth, 1999. "Tenures that Shook the World: Worker Turnover in Russia, Poland and Britain," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 160, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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