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Workers mobility in Russia and its features

Introduction ...................................................................................................... 2
Types of workers mobility and current workers mobility trends in Russia ..... 2
Reasons for low workers mobility in Russia
Ways to increase workers mobility in Russia
Сonclusion ........................................................................................................ 4

The problem of irrational allocation of labour force is nowadays one of the most serious for the Russian economy. The supply of labour is seriously disproportioned, especially by region.
Given this situation, the concept of workers mobility deserves a special attention. Low workers mobility in Russia is widely recognized as an impediment to the further development of Russian economy.

Types of workers mobility and current workers mobility trends in Russia
Workers mobility is one of the market mechanisms, which facilitates the efficient allocation of workers among different economic sectors, industries and firms. On the one hand, worker mobility is a rational individual strategy of behaviour, because it opens new possibilities for a worker - possibilities of higher wages, better working conditions, higher social status. On the other hand, on the national level, the workers mobility leads to such an allocation of labour force which responds to the needs of society and the current economic situation.
Three types1 of workers mobility might be distinguished:
1. Labor turnover in the sense of movement between jobs but without movement from one region to another or into new kinds of jobs. This type of "low quality" labor mobility or "labor churning" is high enough in Russia, with dissatisfied workers moving around in a search for better wages and conditions.
2. Inter-regional mobility without change in the type of work. The incentive for such mobility is quite strong, as the unemployment rate is much higher in some regions than others. However, many economists consider that this type of migration remains well below optimal in Russia.
3. Movement from one kind of job to another, as old jobs are destroyed and new jobs created. Such reallocation of labor is also too low in Russia.
Reasons for low workers mobility in Russia
Long distance is itself an impediment to a decision to change the place of residence. Modern research2 points out that with the increase of distance, the moving from one place to another becomes more money- and time-consuming, informational and psychological costs are also increasing. Thus, the low mobility of Russian workers might be largely due to long distances. At the same time, it is obvious that the distances are not the only obstacles for workers mobility, because in such countries as the USA, Canada and Australia the distances are comparable to Russian ones, but the workers mobility is much higher.
Administrative barriers also hinder the growth of workers mobility. The residence permit (propiska), for example, still prevents many people from moving from one region to another.
The most important economic barrier to the growth of worker mobility is the lack of correspondence between the wages and accommodation costs in labour deficient regions. High accommodation costs often make it impossible for a worker to allocate to a different region.
In addition, the population of one region not always has the information about the situation in other regions. The employment services are all regionally based, and there is no single federal vacancies database, which decreases the job finding opportunities for a potential migrant.
Ways to increase workers mobility in Russia
The government cannot fight the distance, however, they are able to facilitate the internal migration by investing in transportation and infrastructure.
The potential migrants should be supported and provided sufficient information about the job opportunities available in other regions.
The population of the labour abundant regions could be encouraged to migrate through some specially designed programs. For example, government could probably cooperate with the private sector (the enterprises which are interested in skilled workers), and suggest the workers from labour abundant regions move to scarcely populated regions, providing them with accommodation and necessary training.
Economic and administrative barriers to workers mobility should be significantly reduced. What is supposed to be migration control is often just a basis for corruption. Thus, a new, less bureaucratic and more efficient, migration control system will not only facilitate workers mobility, but also create a competition among regions, which will be a stimulus for the local governments to develop infrastructure, education, healthcare, etc.
Workers mobility is very important from the economic, social and political points of view. Low workers mobility in Russia is a serious hindrance to the development of the Russian economy, and that is why this problem needs immediate attention from the government.

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