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Private sector employment in Russia: scale, composition and performance


Gimpelson, Vladimir & Lippoldt, Douglas (1999). Private sector employment in Russia: scale, composition and performance. Economics of Transition, 7(2), 505-533.


In Russia, as across Central and Eastern Europe, privatization and the establishmemt of new private firms have been viewed as key factors in labour market adjustment during the transition period. This paper considers the overall employment developments in the private sector in Russia and the extent to which the private sector employment performance is differentiated from that of other sectors in five Russian regions. The analysis is based on a fresh look at these issues using official statistics published by Goskomstat and drawing on microdata from the March 1996 Russian Labour Force Survey (LFS). A special questionnaire attached to the LFS in the study regions provides supplementary information.

The paper highlights shifts in the sectoral composition of employment, including growth in private sector employment. Compared to other forms of ownership, the analysis confirms a tendency for private sector ownership in the study regions to be associated with stronger employment performance with respect to hours worked and, in some cases, timely payment of wages. Private sector firms appear to have relatively flexible employment patterns, utilizing more fixed-term or part-time employment than other types of firms and experiencing greater labour turnover. Also, private sector employees tend to be somewhat younger and probably more adaptable people. However, there is significant variation across the study regions and substantial exceptions exist with respect to the above-mentioned tendencies. With respect to employment issues, the differentiation between sectors appears to be less pronounced than one might have expected.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Economics of Transition


Gimpelson, Vladimir
Lippoldt, Douglas