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Article

Polarization or upgrading? Evolution of employment in transitional Russia

Russian Journal of Economics. 2016. Vol. 2. No. 2. P. 192-218.
This paper discusses the structural changes in Russian employment and explores whether the evolution of employment from 2000 to 2012 followed the scenario of progressive upgrading in job quality or brought about the polarization of jobs in terms of quality. Jobs are defined in this study as occupation-industry cells, and their quality is measured through relative earnings and education level. Using detailed micro-data from a few complementary large-scale surveys, we rank all jobs according to the earnings and educational criteria and divide these distributions into five quintiles. At the next stage, we explore dynamic changes in job quality and socio-demographic characteristics of workers in different quintiles. The paper rejects the polarization scenario and confirms the upgrading hypothesis