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The Russian Labour Market

Between Transition and Turmoil

Format: Book
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, United States
Published: 1st Jul 2002
ISBN-10: 0585379564
ISBN-13: 9780585379562
Barcode No: 9780585379562
Labour markets are a central element of any transition from planned economy to market-oriented system. This groundbreaking book examines the plight of Russian workers and employers during the first decade of post-Soviet reforms. The authors argue that higher-than-expected labour market flexibility early in the transition provided an important cushion for workers who would have been displaced with little recourse to social protection. However, over time, this flexibility reduced pressure for enterprise restructuring and accommodated policy drift. Although many workers were quite mobile, often this translated into a loss of human capital for older enterprises_even potentially viable ones_and to OchurningO in the labour market, accompanied by only limited restructuring. There was little job creation, labour hoarding persisted, and many workers saw their wages eroded by inflation and late payment of wages. The authors show this situation was largely the result of insufficient structural reforms, poor institutional development, and misplaced incentives. First providing an overview of the economic situation, key labour market trends, and the institutional situation during the 1990s, the book then reviews labour market dynamics. The authors assess changes in OoldO jobs at former state enterprises and evaluate OnewO job creation, mostly in private businesses. They examine the evolution of wages and the availability of social protection to workers. A special thematic section considers the political economy of labour market policy that brought the ORussian approachO to labour market adjustment to life. The conclusion presents an integrated picture of the Russian labour market in the aftermath of the early transition period and highlights the implications of the experience for current policy.

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This is a fresh and penetrating analysis of Russian labour market developments, which are critical for Russia's economic transition. It is a superb resource for students of the transition. Readable, detailed and well-documented, this book links the workings of the labour market to the larger picture of economic, political and social change.--Richard Layard, London School of Economics This book combines first-hand study of the transition in Russia and careful analytical work. The authors' integrated, multidisciplinary approach helps to expose the underlying institutional environment as well as the social and political factors that have influenced economic outcomes.--Janos Kornai, Harvard University and Collegium Budapest This remarkable study captures the essence of Russian economic transition as seen from the cross-cutting perspective of the labour market. Gimpleson and Lippoldt's well-balanced account highlights key obstacles that have impeded positive change, but also the real progress that is sometimes overlooked. Their insightful and coherent view of the labour market, backed up by a wide range of empiricle evidence, will serve as an invaluable reference to all those working to understand and advance reform in Russia.--Yegor Gaidar, former prime minister of the Russian Federation