Tenures that Shook the World: Worker Turnover in the Russian Federation and Poland
Posted: 27 May 1999
Date Written: June 1998
Economic transition in the countries of central and eastern Europe has led to both the re-allocation of labour across industries and occupations and the re-structuring of tasks within continuing organizations. Our central concern is to try and identify to what extent the length of time a worker has been employed by a firm shapes the turnover process. Using a simple model, we argue that in a transition economy, where the value of seniority in jobs begun under the old order may be small and the value of a continued job match unsure, then both voluntary and involuntary turnover may occur at higher levels of the job tenure distribution than in the West. Using data from the Polish labour Force Survey and The Russian Longitudinal Monitor Survey we look in detail at new jobs, those held by a worker for less than 12 months, in an attempt to identify the principal sectors in which job growth is occurring, the main characteristics of the individuals who fill them and whether there are notable cross-country differences in the pattern of new hires. We match individuals across waves 12 months apart in order to measure worker mobility, both outflows and inflows. We split the data into state and private ownership in order to try and capture elements of both the re-allocation and re-structuring process. We ask whether skilled workers are leaving the state sector in order to obtain better jobs in the private sector, whether less skilled workers are obliged to seek new jobs in the state sector, whether there is any evidence that wage differentials are guiding re-allocation, whether new private sector jobs are more unstable.
JEL Classification: J6
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation