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Structural change, mismatch, and job mobility: evidence from Russia


Earle, John S. & Peter, Klara Sabirianova (2002). Structural change, mismatch, and job mobility: evidence from Russia.


The rapid pace of liberalization and restructuring in a transitional economy provides a fruitful setting for investigating the relative effects of structural change and mismatch on worker mobility. Using individual panel data with some retrospective information, we document an increase of nearly 70 percent in five-year rates of job mobility and separations and nearly 50 percent in the accession rate from the pre-reform period, 1985-90, to the 1990-95 and 1995-2000 periods. The increased flows are remarkably uniform with respect to worker characteristics, including gender, schooling and wage level, the last result suggesting no increased tendency for movers to be drawn from the lower part of the wage distribution, a basic implication of mismatch theories. Also inconsistent with a large role for mismatch in the increased mobility is our finding that the normally negative age profiles of all three measures display some partial flattening for the last two periods compared with the first. Separations become more closely associated with industry and firm employment growth only in the middle period, however, while the relationship of accessions to firm employment growth actually declines; these data do not support a greater role for job flows in explaining total worker flows. The link to firm-level productivity growth does suggest a greater rise in separations for firms experiencing negative relative productivity growth and a larger increase in accessions for those with positive productivity growth, while new entrants have the higher accession rates. Both the mean and variance of relative wage growth associated with mobility increased, and the (negatively sloped) age profile of these gains flattened significantly.

Reference Type

Unpublished Work

Year Published



Earle, John S.
Peter, Klara Sabirianova