The Evolution of Labour Relations inside a Russian Firm during Late Transition: Evidence from Personnel Data
In the Grip of Transition
This paper surveys three studies on the internal labor market of one Russian firm spanning the years 1997 to 2002 and focusing on three different issues. The studies use unique personnel data that were collected by us and that include the work history of each employee as well as annual averages of monthly wages and total compensation. Since the three studies are part of a larger project on internal labor markets in Russia and Ukraine during transition, the paper starts off with a general
... th a general assessment of how the analysis of personnel data from transition countries can contribute to the general literature on internal labor markets. After short descriptions of the investigated firm and the personnel data at our disposal, the motivation and the pertinent results of the three studies are presented. While the first study looks at the question how the costs of a financial crisis are spread over the workforce and whether incumbent employees are sheltered from negative shocks in the economy, the second study is tied to the discussion of wage determination in Russia and analyzes the narrower question whether local labor market conditions are an important factor in the wage determination process of the firm at hand or whether stable internal labor market structures are of primary concern for its human resource managers. The third study contributes to the literature on the labor market experience of women in transition by analyzing the evolution and the determinants of the gender earnings gap in the firm. I am most grateful to my co-authors of the three papers that are reviewed in this study, namely Thomas Dohmen, Mark Schaffer and Anzelika Zaiceva who have allowed me to cite from our joint work. They are, however, in no way responsible for any of my errors and omissions. Financial support from the European Commission within the 6 th framework project "Economic and Social Consequences of Industrial Restructuring in Russia and Ukraine (ESCIRRU)" and from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the research program "Flexibilisierungspotenziale bei heterogenen Arbeitsmärkten" (DFGSP1169) is also gratefully acknowledged.