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Labor market regulation in Eastern Russia in 1918–1922: Institutional factors, mechanisms, and outcomes

Vadim M. Rynkov
Published: 9 July 2021

Abstract: This article uses archival documents and periodical publications to analyze the impact of the Civil War on the labor market in the regions of Eastern Russia. It considers key labor market institutions such as legislation, infrastructure (labor exchanges, unemployment funds, and professional and entrepreneurship organizations), and labor contracts. It has been established that there was continuity in the regulatory framework and labor market management tools between the Provisional Government and the anti-Bolshevik governments. The study shows the challenges and shortcomings of managing hiring and dismissal processes by soft regulatory methods given the deep economic crisis. The labor supply was backed by extensive cohorts of prisoners of war, refugees, and foreign workers, which contributed to a drop in labor rates. The government sought to stabilize the situation by reinforcing transactional barriers to reduce employment. The labor market in Eastern Russia was subjected to regionalization and localization.
Keywords: Eastern Russia / labor market / anti Bolshevik governments / regions / Civil War / reinforcing transactional

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