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Worker flows in the Russian economic transition: longitudinal evidence from four cities


Grogan, Louise A. (2003). Worker flows in the Russian economic transition: longitudinal evidence from four cities. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 51(2), 399-425.


This article investigates the movement of workers into new employment and nonemployment from jobs held at the end of the Soviet period and the movement of workers between jobs during the post‐Soviet era. Multinomial logit and competing‐risks models for transitions to different labor market states are estimated. An analysis is performed separately for jobs under way in January 1991 and those which began after that date. The effects of demographic characteristics of individuals, local factors, and macroeconomic trends on different types of movements between jobs are identified. Together, the results of the two estimations form a picture of how worker flows have evolved under deregulated labor markets, and of how these vary by observable individual characteristics.

This analysis of worker flows using microsurvey data complements existing work that has looked at labor turnover in Russian firms. While extensive use has been made of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) to look at year‐on‐year transition intensities, complete longitudinal information on worker transitions did not exist until 1998.1 Data on the labor market histories of individuals allow determination of the extent to which labor hoarding implies that worker flows in and out of such firms are low. At the time of writing, the Institute for Labor Relations Research (ISITO) 1998 household survey was the only existing household survey containing full information about the labor market trajectories of individuals over the initial period of economic transition. As such, the analysis carried out here using the ISITO survey is the first duration analysis of worker flows (known to me) carried out for Russia.

The goal of this article is to characterize the nature of worker transitions made by individuals in the posttransition Russian labor market and to investigate how individuals move between sectors of ownership. Section II is devoted to background information about the liberalization of labor markets in post‐Soviet Russia and the existing literature on labor market dynamics. Section III introduces the RLMS panels and the ISITO household survey data used in the empirical analysis. Section IV is devoted to the discussion of descriptive statistics from the RLMS on individuals in new jobs and from ISITO on the frequency of job transitions. In Section V, the econometric frameworks used are introduced and models estimated. My conclusions are presented in Section VI.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Economic Development and Cultural Change


Grogan, Louise A.