Freelancers in Russia: Remote Work Patterns and E-Markets
A specific form of informal employment is presented by electronic freelancers, e.g. self-employed professionals working remotely via the Internet. Andrey Shevchuk and Denis Strebkov launched Russian Freelance Survey (RFS) that brought more than 10,000 usable responses in each of two waves in 2008 and 2010, making RFS one of the largest freelance surveys in the world. Using these unique data sets, the authors describe the main groups involved in the Russian-speaking e-lance market and demonstrate how they cope with the high level of informality of institutional arrangements and opportunistic behaviour of market actors.
Export is not the only driver of growth that helped German economy to revive fast after the Great Recession 2008-09. As important was the package of reforms Agenda 2010 aimed at liberalization of labour market. It made employment relations more flexible inter alia by deregulation of non-standard employment. Atypical forms of employment facilitate labour market entry for recruits and long-term unemployed, they increase the scope of flexibility for both employees and business and help employers to satisfy the fluctuating labour demand. The spread of atypical employment relationship strongly contributed to German employment boom, so called “Jobwunder”, and currently Germany shows a record level of employment and quite low unemployment rate. At the same time atypical employment may cause an increase in various social risks, low-wage jobs explosion and precarisation. Still, it would be misleading to identify precarious work and non-standard employment because of the heterogeneity of the latter.
This paper gives an overview of specific features of the atypical employment in Germany, deals with its development dynamics and evaluates negative and positive effects on labour market.
Based on a sample of 5,784 Russian-speaking respondents, this study provides the first quantitative evidence on freelance contracting via the Internet. We explore the extent to which these virtual business relations are formal or informal, and the role of social capital and
networking. Our data suggest freelancers act under constant threat of malfeasance from clients. We address a number of questions associated with freelancers’ business risks and how freelancers might mitigate them. The logistic regression models reveal that the virtualization of relationships with clients is associated with greater moral hazard risks and fewer opportunities for dispute resolution. Formal written contracts do not prevent opportunistic behaviors by clients, though such contracts help resolve conflicts. Dealing with available social contacts and referrals decreases both the probability of extreme opportunism, causing financial losses, and the probability that disputes remain unresolved. Nevertheless, established social relations could be exploited by clients who
can delay payments or insist on altering deadlines, work scope and specifications. Thus, our findings contribute to existing literatures on social capital in freelance contracting and on the structure of occupational labor markets.
The level of self-employment among immigrants is often higher than among natives. The purpose of this paper was to test empirically whether selective migration with respect to entrepreneurial characteristics may explain this difference. The relevant hypotheses were tested comparing representative samples of Russian immigrants in Norway and their stay-at-home counterparts. Data from the Russian population came from the 2008 GEM study, while data on Russian immigrants in Norway were collected through a specially designed postal survey. The analysis revealed some demographic dissimilarity between the two groups, as well as a presence of selective migration with respect to entrepreneurial characteristics. This study demonstrates that immigrants (as compared to non-migrants) are more likely to report intentions to start a business. Moreover, they possess relatively large amount of specific human capital, social capital and self-confidence relevant for entrepreneurship. The paper concludes with proposed practical implications and suggestions for further research.
The focus of the paper is informal employment in Russia, particularly its development and dynamics as well as the measurement problems and previous research review. The author is trying to explain why it is so sustainable both in the period of crisis and in the period of economic growth. The main conclusions are that the constant increasing rates of the informal employment (almost 20% of all employed) is explained by the dominant strategy of balancing work in the formal and informal sectors and positive evaluations of its benefits and joint interests of the informal workers and their employers.
Relation between the informal employment and job satisfaction is investigated in the paper. Informal employment takes rather big place in Russian economy, what makes research of the mechanism of the informal sector of the labor market functioning very relevant. Ordered choice models with sample selection correction were estimated on the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey of HSE (RLMS-HSE) data. The key result of the paper is that subjective well-being is not determined by employment status itself, crucial is conditions of choice. Individuals, who came to the informal sector because of their own choice, treat their job as well as workers' with the registered employment. So, they have no incentives for seeking to formalize their status, which could mean further growth of the informal sector.
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 results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.
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.