Labour Redeployment: Trends and Institutions

  • Silvana Malle
Part of the Studies in Russian and East European History and Society book series (SREEHS)


Branch and territorial labour shortages and excess labour suggest that the dynamic efficiency of the economy could be improved by labour redistribution. In principle, planners have the means to reallocate labour using wage differences and other material incentives. However, large-scale labour movements also involve the redistribution of investments in the non-productive sphere at the territorial level and extra benefits in kind, since the consumer goods market is also characterised by shortages. These balancing exercises may be time-consuming, expensive and, in the end, ineffective if people (for non-economic reasons, such as cultural background) do not respond to planned inducements. Small changes are less costly from any point of view, but they need a flexible environment which the centralised economy does not provide.


Trade Union Labour Mobility Labour Contract Labour Shortage Excess Labour 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes to Chapter 2: Labour Redeployment; Trends and Institutions

  1. 3.
    See E.I. Ruzavina, Zaniatosf v usloviiakh intensifikatsii proizvodstva (Moskva: Statistika, 1975) pp. 62–3, 66, 72–3, 76–7.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    In the mid-1970s organised migration encompassed only 10–12 per cent of labour flows, see L. L. Rybakovskii, Migratsiia naseleniia: prognosy, faktory, politika (Moskva: Nauka 1987) p. 75. See also Travo na poluchenie raboty’ (round table), Voprosy ekonomiki, 1989, no. 2, p. 26.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    See W. Ward Kingkade, ‘Demographic Trends in the Soviet Union’, in Gorbachev’s Economic Plans, Vol. 1, Study papers submitted to the JEC Joint Economic Committee Congress of the U.S. (Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987) pp. 167, 175.Google Scholar
  4. 15.
    See A. J. Pietsch and H. Vogel, ‘Displacement by Technological Progress in the USSR’ in J. Adam (ed.), Employment Policies in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (London: Macmillan Press, 1982) pp. 151–2.Google Scholar
  5. 21.
    See F. R. Filippov, ‘Sotsial’nye garantii effektivnoi zaniatosti’, Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniia (1988) no. 5, p. 27 and V. P. Cherevan’, Sbalansirovannost’ rabochikh mest i trudovykh resursov (Moskva: Ekonomika, 1988) p. 116.Google Scholar
  6. 32.
    See S. L. Osipov, Zarabotnaia plata: proportsii, dinamika, tendentsii (Vladivostok: Dal’nevostochnogo universiteta, 1986) p. 51.Google Scholar
  7. 34.
    See L. A. Kostin (ed.), Upravlenie trudovymi resursami. Spravochnoe posobie (Moskva: Ekonomika, 1987), pp. 174–94 on the principles and development of Job Placement Bureaux and N. Panteleev, ‘Sluzhba trudoustroistva. Kakoi ei byt”, Sotsialisticheskii trud (1987) no. 7, p. 86.Google Scholar
  8. 36.
    See I. S. Maslova, Mekhanizm pereraspredeleniia rabochei sily pri sotsializme (Moskva: Ekonomika, 1985) pp. 121–5.Google Scholar
  9. 48.
    See V. V. Egorov, Pravo na trud rabochikh i sluzhashchikh: teoriia i praktika (Moskva: Nauka, 1986) pp. 55–6, 59.Google Scholar
  10. 69.
    After the pioneering work by G. Grossman, ‘Notes on the Illegal Private Economy and Corruption’, in US Congress, Joint Economic Committee, The Soviet Economy in a Time of Change (Washington D.C., US Government Printing Office, 1979) pp. 834–55Google Scholar
  11. a number of other studies have shown the importance of the second economy in relation to total income, see, for instance, V. G. Treml, ‘Income from Private Services Recognized by Official Soviet Statistics’, in Studies on the Soviet Second Economy, Berkeley-Duke Occasional Papers, Paper no. 11, December 1987, pp. 9–17Google Scholar
  12. C. M. Davies, ‘The Second Economy in Disequilibrium and Shortage Models of Centrally Planned Economies’, Berkeley-Duke Occasional Papers, Paper no. 12, July 1988, pp. 17–21 for a clear categorisation of the second economy.Google Scholar
  13. 83.
    See Sovetskoe trudovoe zakonodatel’stvo, op. cit., p. 74. To assess the skill level, in this case, information on norm fulfilment, quality of work, skill rankings, discipline, long-term service in the same skill may be used, cf. K. N. Gusov, Osnovnaniia prekrashcheniia trudovogo dogovora (Moskva: Iuridicheskaia Literatura, 1985) p. 23.Google Scholar
  14. 89.
    See Kommentarii k zakonodatel’stvu o trude (Moskva: Iuridicheskaia literatura, 1986) p. 66. The results of a research project on labour mobility considered to be representative for industry as a whole show that the overwhelming part of workers continue to perform manual jobs, whilst the relative share of workers employed in mechanical or automated jobs remains stable, see V. N. Ivanov (ed.), Sotsial’naia sfera. Preobrazovanie uslovii truda i byta. (Moskva: Nauka, 1988) pp. 8, 14–16.Google Scholar
  15. 91.
    See V. Sergeev, Plius chelovecheskii faktor (Moskva: Znanie, 1977) p. 106.Google Scholar
  16. I. P. Smirnov, Sovetskii rabochii: formirovanie tvorcheskoi lichnosti (Moskva: Mysl’, 1987) p. 97.Google Scholar
  17. 96.
    See V. N. Artemova, Trudovoe pravo i podgotovka kadrov (Minsk: Nauka i Tekhnika, 1975) p. 104.Google Scholar
  18. 101.
    See Trud, January 7th, 1988, p. 1. This percentage is somewhat lower than the 51.7 per cent in 1967. But we do not know the absolute number of the petitioners to courts in either year and Soviet sources suggest that they have also been few, see for examples, B. A. Ruble, ‘Factory Union and Workers’ Rights’, in A. Khan and B. A. Ruble (eds), Industrial Labour in the USSR (N.Y.: Pergamon Press, 1979) p. 63.Google Scholar
  19. 102.
    See N. Lampert, Whistleblowing in the Soviet Union. Complaints and Abuses under State Socialism (London: Macmillan Press, 1985) pp. 151–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 104.
    See R. Conquest, Industrial Workers in the USSR (London: The Bodley Head Ltd, 1967) pp. 100–107Google Scholar
  21. S. M. Schwarz, Labour in the Soviet Union (New York: Praeger, 1952) pp. 47, 60, 86–7, 91, 94, 98–105, 119–20, 127, 310.Google Scholar
  22. 105.
    Enterprises do not refrain from dismissing inefficient workers if they become a burden to production. Thus, 57 per cent of the violations of labour discipline are punished by dismissals for absenteeism (progul) and 6–10 per cent by transfer to worse paid jobs, see V. M. Lebedev, ‘Vospitanie v trudovykh kollektivov’, Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo (1988) no. 6, p. 126. Cf. also J. N. Hazard, Managing Change in the USSR — The Political-Legal Role of the Soviet Jurist (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983) p. 83, for a more apologetic view on Soviet labour than my own.Google Scholar
  23. 111.
    See Sovetskoe zakonodatel’stvo o trude (Moskva: Profizdat, 1984) cf. pp. 42–7 with p. 48. See also A. I. Statzeva and O. S. Khoriakova, Trudovoi dogovor (Moskva: Iuridicheskaia Literatura, 1983) p. 68.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Silvana Malle 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvana Malle
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VeronaItaly

Personalised recommendations