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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Problems of labour markets: East European economies in transition Ivanov, Sergei Leonid


The main objective of the present study is to examine the role of labour markets in East European economic transition and the current labour market situation in different countries with a particular focus on the links between labour markets and the task of macroeconomic restructuring. The principal questions posed are, briefly: what is the role of labour markets in helping to ensure success for economic transformation?, what are the current problems threatening the success of the reforms?, and, finally, what are the goals and mechanisms of labour market transition?" The study is confined to the macro level and does not focus on the level of the region and/or enterprise. In dealing with the problems of goals and mechanisms, the study is policy-oriented. Methodologically the study sees the transitional development of labour markets in East European countries as a triply-influenced process. First, labour markets have inherited a number of features from pre-transitional economic and political systems. Second, broad economic policy pursued by the present governments undoubtedly shapes both current labour market issues and the scope of active employment measures to be implemented. Finally, changes within the labour force itself induced by the systemic changes are important. The methodological approach of analyzing East European labour markets development as a triply-influenced process is closely linked to the main research questions above. The link is provided by the two crucial issues which are examined throughout the thesis: the degree of labour market restructuring to be expected, and the origins and scale of East European unemployment. Part I of the thesis deals with introductory issues and provides some theoretical and empirical insights into economic transition in Eastern Europe. Part II analyzes the theory and practice of labour markets under central planning. Part III is devoted to structural problems of East European labour market transitions and offers some new methodological approaches and working hypotheses. Part IV offers an overview of labour issues in growth and development thought. Finally, Part V deals with transitional issues of East European labour markets.

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