Ownership transformation, economic behavior, and political attitudes in Russia

TitleOwnership transformation, economic behavior, and political attitudes in Russia
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
AuthorsEarle, J. S., and R. Rose

Has the rapid ownership transformation in Russia had an impact on enterprise performance or on worker behavior and attitudes? This paper investigates this issue using data from a nationwide survey of Russian workers conducted in April 1995. We focus on the two primary types of ownership change in Russia: the privatization of existing state-owned enterprises, and the creation de novo of new, private organizations. Examining such firm behavior as restructuring of product lines, investment in new equipment, changes in internal organization, influences on decision-making, and labor market behavior, we find large and significant differences between privatized and state-owned enterprises, and between new private and all old organizations, controlling for other firm characteristics. Differences in the labor market behavior and attitudes of workers are significant when comparing new and old firms, but less so when comparing privatized to state enterprises. Finally, we analyze the relationship between the ownership of the firm in which an individual works and her or his political attitudes and voting intentions, finding that employees of privatized companies tend to be the most anti-reform group while those in new private firms are the most pro-reform.

Department of Economics and Business