How do Workers Fare During Transition? Perceptions of Job Insecurity among Russian Workers, 1995-2004
Susan J. Linz
Michigan State University
Michigan State University
William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 871
Labor market conditions deteriorated substantially in the1990s during Russia's transition from plan to market, generating pervasive and prolonged economic insecurity. Our objective is to document perceptions of job insecurity among Russian workers over the course of the transition period and evaluate whether these perceptions are consistent with actual economic outcomes. We use RLMS data to examine perceptions of job insecurity among Russian workers between 1995 and 1998, when economic conditions were relatively chaotic, and between 2000 and 2004, when economic conditions had stabilized. We employ two measures to assess worker perceptions of job insecurity: one reflects workers' concerns about job loss, and the second evaluates their concern about ability to find employment in case of a lay-off. Our descriptive analysis focuses on workers who perceived their job situation as insecure during this period, categorizing workers based on their socio-demographic characteristics, job characteristics and region of residence. Using ordered probit analysis, we study conditional distributions of our measures of perceived job insecurity, and how those varied by worker characteristics, current economic conditions, and over time. Similar to studies conducted in developed market economies, we find that perceptions of job security are higher among workers with more education, among workers with status positions (supervisory responsibilities), and among workers who live in locales that are not adversely affected by economic conditions. Unlike these studies, however, we find that perceptions differ between men and women; age is negatively, rather than positively, correlated with confidence in keeping one's current job; and longer job tenure does not improve perceptions of job security. We find that worker perceptions are largely consistent with actual labor market conditions. Specifically, perceptions of job security were very low in years of major economic change and uncertainty (1995-1998), but improved during the years of relative economic stability (2000-2004). In both periods, workers with relatively weak positions in the labor market tended to have lower perceptions of job insecurity.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: perceptions, Russia, job insecurity, gender
JEL Classification: P23, J31, J71working papers series
Date posted: September 28, 2007
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