Анекдоты о неформальной экономике: смешно о серьезном
The article is devoted to anecdotes about informal economy. They tell us about corruption, theft in production, shadow entrepreneurship, informal channels of distribution of scarce goods etc. These anecdotes are a peculiar encyclopedia of soviet and post-soviet man’s patterns and stereotypes of thinking.
The article develops the thesis that laughing refers to negative emotions and turns them into humor and jokes. The laughing serves as the social critic’s instrument, which emphasizes the difference between reality and expectation. The anecdotes do not solve any problems but decrease their severity and help to adopt to them. The article analyzes three periods: the USSR, Russia of 90-th and Russia after 2000.
The presented book review is devoted to “Otkhodniks” by Plusnin Ju., Zausaeva Ya., Zhidkevich N., Pozanenko A. (editor — S. Kordonsky). Otkhodnichestvo is a type of labor migration implying a scenario in which an adult, able-bodied family member temporarily leaves home to seek work in another area. Otkhodnichestvo has a long history in Russia but a new wave of its mass dissemination appeared in recent decades. The reviewed book defines a concept of otkhodnichestvo, considers what similarities and dissimilarities there are between this phenomenon and other forms of labor migration (i.e. jobbers, rotation workers, and temporary cross-border migrants). It reveals the otkhodniks’ motivation and economic patterns, describes typical social and demographic characteristics of contemporary wandering workers, evaluates otkhodniks’ cultural and social impact on local their community’s everyday life, etc. The book is based on a series of fieldwork studies conducted by the authors in small Russian towns over the last four years. In the review Barsukova discusses her impressions of the book, outlining its unusual genre. One uncontestable advantage of the book is an ethnographic material allowing readers to become immersed in all details of otkhodnik life. Otkhodniks usually come from small rural towns. They are forced to leave their homes to seek jobs in other areas because there are no opportunities for them to earn money in their permanent place of residence. Moreover, a key driver of the discussed form of labor migration is the otkhodniks’ aspiration to provide normal living conditions for their family members. The book review author highlights that otkhdoniks should be discussed not just in terms of their informal employment, the context of family relationship transformation should also be taken seriously into account.
The monograph focuses on economic agents that substitute or complement the official healthcare system in modern Russia by serving alternative health maintenance practices. A detailed description of their activities is provided on the basis of an analysis of nationwide secondary data (public statistics, mass media, laws and regulations), as well as observations and interviews from the field research in the Perm region in 2013. The book consists of two parts. The first – introductory – chapter contains some generalizations and reflections on the subject matter in general. The following chapters are a series of independent sociographic essays that focus on selected "informal healthcare" phenomena classified by the principal product offered to the customers: goods, gifts of nature, diagnostic and treatment services, ideas/beliefs, or information. Among others, we consider direct selling of health products and itinerant trade in them; latent social functions of pharmacies; services of healers and doctors of alternative medicine; gathering and production of healing gifts of nature by private households; healing practices of religious organizations; and dissemination of self-treatment information in the mass media. The publication targets a wide audience, including professionals in healthcare management, social scientists, and everyone interested in health protection and the informal economy in Russia.
This study considers the influence of structutal change to aggregate labour productivity growth of the Russian economy. The term “structural change” refers to labour reallocation both between industries and between formal and informal segments within an industry. Using Russia KLEMS and official Rosstat data we decompose aggregate labour productivity growth into intra-industry (within) and between industry effects with four alternative methods of the shift share analysis. All methods provide consistent results and demonstrate that total labour reallocation has been growth enhancing though the informality expansion has had the negative effect. As our study suggests, it is caused by growing variation in productivity levels across industries.
This article presents an empirical study of the economic activity of the population. appearing in the form of craft s, that is the entrepreneur’s self-supporting activity aimed at household subsistence. Primary forms of such activity are self-employment, individual entrepreneurship and hiring. Th e purpose of this article is to describe the relationship between archaic and modern types of craft s in the local communities. As a result, the author elaborates the concept of the craft evolution. Th e craft s were diff erentiated into archaic (traditional) and modern. Archaic craft s exist for a long time (centuries and millennia) almost unchanged; they use natural and agricultural resources, and are oriented to old markets. Modern craft s have recently emerged; they use new resources, and are oriented to new markets. Th e fi eldwork was carried out in local communities in the south of Russia (Krasnodar region, Taman peninsula and Anapa district), where in 11 settlements (the town of Temryuk, 7 stanitsas (rural settlements), and 3 small urban settlements), materials were collected on all types of informal and formal occupations of the population. Th ey are gathered by methods of direct observation and non-formalized focused interview. In most local communities craft activity is diverse. Everywhere there are from one to three or more dozens of craft s. Most craft smen practice informal employment. In every local community there are both archaic (traditional) and modern craft s. Estimating the prevalence of household activities and the relationship between archaic and modern craft s allows us to identify three contrast groups of local communities: (1) communities with the prevalence of archaic craft s; (2) communities with an equally large number of both archaic and modern types of craft s; (3) communities with a reduction in craft activity, in which the population reoriented to modern craft s, which are organized on the basis of abundant resources from tourists. Th e comparison of the number of craft s with self-assessment of the population life quality shows that labor-consuming and not fully resourced archaic (traditional) craft s contribute to maintaining the high resilience of local communities against negative external infl uences. Th e reorientation of households to modern (usually abundant) resources with simultaneous abandonment of archaic economic practices and the reduction of the total number of craft s in the local community is accompanied (or leads) to a decrease in community’s stability. It is manifested in the assessment of the quality of relations between people, and in the criminalization of the local community (the growth of crime, drug addiction, prostitution). Th e author proposes a model of the craft s development the basis of which is the ratio of archaic (traditional) and modern types of craft s in the economic behavior of the population. Th e model allows predicting the dependence of the types of craft s in the local communities on the nature and features of the available resource base. It also allows assessing the development trends of the household’s craft activity, external threats, and the risks to the stability of local cocieties.