Decentralisation of the minimum wage setting in Russia: Causes and consequences
In this article, we study the minimum wage setting reform in Russia that aimed to decentralise the fixing of the minimum wage and to increase the involvement of social partners into this process. The old system of minimum wage setting was based on
a single nationwide minimum wage which was differentiated across regions and occupations via a cumbersome framework of coefficients. The new system is a mixture of the government-set minimum wage at the federal level and collective agreements
at the regional level. We show that the system of minimum wage setting has become more flexible. The reform succeeded in raising the real value of the minimum wage and increasing earnings of low-paid workers without causing significant negative effects in terms of employment. The reform did not lead to greater regional variation of minimum wages. Nevertheless, it introduced some new imbalances: an unintended consequence of the reform was the emergence of separate regional wage sub-minima for private and public sector workers in many regions. The major challenge in coming years is to strengthen the institutions of collective bargaining, introduce evidence-based evaluation and boost the capacities of government and non-government monitoring agencies.
Till 2008 remuneration system based on the unified tariff scale was officially implemented for the public sector of the Russian economy. New remuneration system (NRS) is intended to differentiate wages more clearly, bring it into compliance with output of labour input, eliminate the disproportion in the structure of employment, which are common for public sector. In this work was made an effort to estimate results of the remuneration reform with the example of medical institutions of three regions, which sequentially introduced NRS in 2008-2009. The estimates based on the Monitoring of healthcare economic problems microdata reveal the increase of wages and salaries within institutions that adopted NRS.
The paper documents the changes in the size of the wage distribution in Russia over the period 1994–2003. Developments in wage inequality varied a lot by sub-periods: overall wage inequality stayed stable in 1994–1996, then it jumped following the 1998 crisis and remained at higher levels for three years. In 2002 the trend reversed again and in the course of a single year wage inequality fell back to the level of the mid-1990s. We find that evolution wage inequality was largely driven by changes in the upper end of the wage distribution. Decomposition of wage inequality by population sub-groups shows that inequality has been higher for men, younger and low-educated workers, and rural inhabitants. The structure of inequality did not change much over the period from 1994 to 2003. Demographic variables (mainly gender and region) explain the largest proportion of wage dispersion (over 40% of the explained variation and 15% of total variation). Nearly equivalent is the contribution of firm characteristics with industry affiliation of employer playing the leading role. Our results show that returns to education continued to rise at all percentiles of the wage distribution converging at the level of about 8–9% of wage increase for an additional year of schooling.
The paper discusses social aspects of higher education institutions engagement with their regional communities. On the basis of the cases of the Russian Siberian and Southern Federal Universities the author analyzes practices and formats of their interaction with different regional stakeholders as part of the FUs' social function implementation. The FU's capacity to enhance their third mission is assessed. The author suggests a set of indicators to assess universities social activities impact on development of the regions, and puts forward recommendations on building the federal universities capacity for fulfilling their third role. The paper is prepared within the framework of the Ministry of Education and Science project "Organizational and analytical support to the national priority project "Education" on activities aimed at "Development of Federal Universities", carried out by the National Training Foundation.
Workers’ Representation in Central and Eastern Europe
Challenges and Opportunities for the Works Councils System
Editor: Roger Blanpain
Guest Editor: Nikita Lyutov
Works council, as a participatory means of regulating the employer–employee relation, is long established in Western European countries, but has failed to take significant root in other parts of the world where it has been tried. This book is the first in-depth exploration of the legal, political, and cultural forces that complicate this transposition. Focusing on Eastern and Central Europe, where the works council system has been most extensively applied and where the evident reasons for its lack of purchase are most telling, the contributors examine the relevant experience, both negative and positive, in twelve countries, with a particular focus on non-union representation of workers.
Many important issues pertinent to workers’ representation in general in a globalized world are covered, including the following:
cooperation and confrontation between trade unions and works councils; insufficient division of competences between the two representative bodies; legal norms concerning both trade union and works councils independence from employers’ interference; need for serious and dissuasive sanctions against creation of employer-controlled (‘yellow’) unions; need for extension to non-union workers of protection from anti-union discrimination; real vs. formal implementation of EU norms in Eastern European Member States; unnecessarily complicated regulation of institutions of representation; lack of protection against dismissal of non-union representatives; responsibility for breach of employers’ obligation to consult and inform; and employers’ lack of legitimacy in the eyes of workers.
There is general agreement among these authors that, as long as human beings spend a serious part of their lives at the workplace, they must be allowed not merely to express opinions about the job but have a real influence on it. Fully aware of the sensitivity of these issues in market economies, the authors’ careful research and call for public discussion open the path to real changes in the existing system, clearly in Eastern Europe but to be much desired elsewhere also. For labour law scholars, practitioners, and policymakers who know that such changes are needed, this book offers directions that, though debatable, are sure to be welcomed.
The book focuses on the new kinds of conflict that arises in the transition to a market economy. Following an editorial introduction, two chapters develop theories from new empirical research into patterns of conflict and forms of trade unionism in Russian enterprises in the transition period. These are folloed by a detailed case study of the development of an independent trade union in one industrial enterprise, and a chapter which explores changes in the status hierarchy of the industrial enterprise. Two chapters then address the much-neglected issue of gender differentiation in the work place and both chapters question the supposed passivity of Russian women workers. The two final chapters address the issue of conflict and change in the external relations of enterprises through case studies of the process of bancruptcy and of conflict insiders and outsiders. Conflict and Change in the Russian Industrial Enterprise is the second volume in the series Management and Industry in Russia, reporning on the results of a unique programme of research into the restructuring of social relations in Russian industrial production.
Some problems of the logical process of forming of the social partnership institute are described in this article. This process is convinced as result of the evolution of professional education system. The basic stages of starting this process are evaluated including the forming of special legislation in Russia. Also the prospects of development of social partnership institute are estimated.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.