Wage Arrears, Poverty, and Family Survival Strategies in Russia

Columbia University Discussion Paper No. 9899-05

28 Pages Posted: 3 May 1999

See all articles by Padma Desai

Padma Desai

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

Todd Idson

Boston University - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 1998

Abstract

In this paper we use a longitudinal survey of Russian households for analyzing the impact of wage arrears on the incidence of poverty among families and their survival strategies. The failure of enterprises and government to fully pay workers in a timely fashion is shown to be associated with a higher incidence of poverty; a similar effect is found for pensioners experiencing pension arrears. As a result of pay delays, we find that individuals and families were more likely to take second jobs, increase home production for own-consumption and sale, reduce their rate of saving, sell family assets, and receive transfers of goods and money from relatives (which, in turn, reduce the effect of wage non-payment on poverty). Wage non-payment also contributed to a rise in barter between workers and firms, although the monetary value of these goods and services did little to arrest the upward trend in outstanding net debt to workers.

JEL Classification: J3, P3

Suggested Citation

Desai, Padma and Idson, Todd, Wage Arrears, Poverty, and Family Survival Strategies in Russia (October 1998). Columbia University Discussion Paper No. 9899-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=146191 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.146191

Padma Desai

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
1015 Intl Affairs
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-2266 (Phone)
212-854-8059 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/sipa/RESEARCH/pd5.html

Todd Idson (Contact Author)

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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