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Семинар «Firm Level Preferences for Social Policy in the Post-Communist Bloc: Evidence from Russia»

11 ноября 2014 г. состоялся совместный семинар Лаборатории исследований рынка труда (ЛИРТ) и Центра трудовых исследований (ЦеТИ), на котором Israel Marques (ICSID HSE, Columbia University) представил доклад «Firm Level Preferences for Social Policy in the Post-Communist Bloc: Evidence from Russia».

11 ноября 2014 г. состоялся совместный семинар Лаборатории исследований рынка труда (ЛИРТ) и Центра трудовых исследований (ЦеТИ), на котором был представлен доклад «Firm Level Preferences for Social Policy in the Post-Communist Bloc: Evidence from Russia».

Докладчик — Israel Marques, research fellow at HSE International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) and doctoral candidate at Columbia University.

When does business support the expansion of social policy in the developing world? Much of the literature on the development and evolution of the welfare state has pointed to the central role of business in shaping and enacting the social policies that underpin the welfare state. As with much of the work on the evolution of the welfare state, however, existing work on firms' preferences has tended to concentrate on the developed world, where governments can credibly commit to policy, tax evasion is constrained, and mechanisms exist to hold the bureaucracy accountable for policy implementation. In this paper, I relax these assumptions, arguing that where institutional constraints on officials are weak, firms are less likely to support state-led social policy provision. Rent-seeking imposes additional non-tax costs on firms, while the inability to insure officials exert effort allows benefits to be dissipated by free-riders. I further argue that these pathologies of poor institutions do not apply universally – some firms have characteristics that allow them to mitigate additional costs or to free ride. Such firms are more likely to support social policy than others. Drawing work in the new institutional economics, I argue that firms with political connections are uniquely positioned to protect their social policy contributions and the benefits their workers receive, while firms with low visibility can evade taxes and free-ride off universalistic social policy. I test the later part of this argument using a survey of 666 firms in 10 Russian regions. I assume that Russian regional institutional quality is generally poor (despite variation) and examine the preferences of firms with political connections and those that can evade the state’s notice. I find that those with low visibility and political connections are more supportive of social policy than the average Russian firm. Other determinants of support for social policy are explored.

Оппонент — Carsten Sprenger, head of HSE International Laboratory of Financial Economics and assistant professor at HSE International College of Economics and Finance