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Workers' Heterogeneity and Risk Aversion : a Segmentation Model of the Russian Labour Market.

Опубликовано на портале: 08-12-2002
Journal of Comparative Economics. 2001.  Vol. 29. No. 2. P. 230-256. 
This paper proposes an explanation of the puzzling coexistence of elements of inertia and dynamism on the Russian labour market. In a context of high uncertainty, risk averse and heterogeneous workers face a trade-off between wages and an insurance against risk o ered by the firm. The firm proposes a contract which includes a low monetary wage and the access to social services. Workers choose to accept the contract or to leave the firm. Their choice gives rise to an ex post segmentation : the most productive workers leave the firm and concentrate in the most productive firms; the less adapted workers remain in their initial firm where they accept to receive lower wages as a price for security. In this framework, wage arrears can be viewed as an element of an implicit contract between firms and less productive workers. We test the relevance of the model using a panel dataset containing 9233 Russian firms for 1993 - 1998 as well as a sub-sample for which we have information on firms' wage arrears.
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