Wage policies of a Russian firm and the financial crisis of 1998: Evidence from personnel data, 1997 to 2002

Thomas Dohmen, Hartmut F. Lehman, Mark Edwin Schaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We use a rich personnel data set from a Russian firm for the years 1997 to 2002 to analyze how the financial crisis in 1998 and the resulting change in external labor market conditions affect the wages and the welfare of workers inside a firm. We provide evidence that large shocks to external conditions affect the firm’s personnel policies, and show that the burden of the shock is not evenly spread across the workforce. Real wages are cut in an environment that is marked by high inflation and of a fall in workers’ outside options after the financial crisis. Earnings are curbed most for those who earned the highest rents, resulting in a strong compression of real wages. The fact that real wages never recovered to pre-crisis levels even though the firm’s financial situation was better in 2002 than before the crisis and the differential treatment of employee groups within the firm can be taken as evidence that market forces strongly influence the wage policies of our firm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-531
Number of pages28
JournalIndustrial and Labor Relations Review
Volume67
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Labor markets
  • Personnel data
  • Russia
  • Wage policies of a firm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management

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