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Weber, Marx, and Work Values: Evidence from Transition Economies

29 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2012  

Susan J. Linz

Michigan State University

Yu-Wei Luke Chu

Victoria University of Wellington - School of Economics & Finance

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Date Written: July 18, 2012

Abstract

Are work values a cause (Weber) or consequence (Marx) of the economic environment? The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 provides a unique opportunity to investigate this link. Using data collected from an employee survey conducted in over 340 workplaces in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, we investigate generational differences in adherence to Protestant work ethic (PWE). Our results indicate that Marx was 'right' about the link between work values and economic environment. That is, despite economic and cultural differences emerging during the transformation process, in all three countries, participating workers born after 1981 adhere more strongly to PWE than workers born before 1977. Moreover, the estimate magnitudes are very similar across these economically and culturally diverse countries. More generally, PWE adherence is stronger among participating workers with an internal locus of control, and among supervisors. PWE adherence also tends to be stronger among participants with high relative earnings, as well as among those working in organizations that reward hard work with the chance to develop new skills or learn new things.

Keywords: work ethic, transition economies, generation

JEL Classification: J2, P2

Suggested Citation

Linz, Susan J. and Chu, Yu-Wei Luke, Weber, Marx, and Work Values: Evidence from Transition Economies (July 18, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2112356 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2112356

Susan Linz (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

Department of Economics
110 Marshall Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
(517) 353-7280 (Phone)
(517) 432-1068 (Fax)

Yu-Wei Luke Chu

Victoria University of Wellington - School of Economics & Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 600
Wellington 6001
New Zealand
04 463 6855 (Phone)

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