Job search behavior of unemployed in Russia

This paper explores the determinants of job search behavior, search intensity and choices of search methods of the unemployed workers in transitional Russia. We use pooled data from rounds 5-9 of the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) to estimate the effects of socio-economic factors on the choices workers make while looking for a job. The results show that women are significantly less likely than men to engage in job searches, lag significantly behind men in search intensity, and significantly differ from men in their search strategies. The job search behavior of workers living in metropolitan areas of Moscow and St. Petersburg differs substantially from the behavior of workers living elsewhere in Russia. The most frequently used search strategy in Russia, as in other countries, is contacting friends and relatives for job leads.

Introduction: The economic transformation in Russia has made searching for a job an integral part of labor market activity. Although the majority of workers use personal contacts as their primary job search method, other forms of matching job vacancies and job seekers have emerged. Between 2001 and 2002, applications to commercial employment agencies nearly doubled, and almost tripled between 2000 and 2002. Other job search methods, such as online searches, are also finding favor.This paper explores the determinants of job search behavior, search intensity, and the search methods preferred by unemployed workers in transitional Russia. Analysis of search behavior may be useful in uncovering mechanisms underlying the duration and rate of unemployment. From an economic policy perspective, the analysis of search methods may also suggest ways to improve the matching of employees with jobs.The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 offers a short description of labor marketdevelopment in Russia in 1993-2002 and a summary of empirical literature. Section 3 describes the data. Section 4 identifies the theoretical model and Section 5 describes the statistical model and estimation procedure. Section 6 discusses empirical results and Section 7 concludes.

Author: Natalia V. Smirnova

Source: Institute for Economies in Transition, Bank of Finland

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