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Volume 57, Issue 5 -6


Organized Labor and Restructuring: Coal Mining in the Czech Republic and Romania

Bruha, Jan; Ionascu, Delia; Jeong, Byeongju

Year: 2007   Volume: 57   Issue: 5 -6   Pages: 272-291

Abstract: The authors examine the role of organized labor in the restructuring experience of two coal-mining regions in the Czech Republic and Romania in the 1990s. Under similar external circumstances, the Ostrava region of the Czech Republic undertook early gradual restructuring, whereas the Jiu Valley region in Romania did not undertake restructuring until 1997, which was followed by massive layoffs in the sector. The authors conduct a quantitative exercise that accounts for mine productivity, labor-market conditions, and constraints in compensating laid-off miners. They show that the belated restructuring in the Jiu Valley was inefficient: gradual restructuring with reasoned compensation would have benefited both the miners and the state. An important factor in the delayed restructuring was the miners’ resistance to it. The authors discuss what motivated the miners’ opposition and the consequences.

JEL classification: O17, J50, P31, R11

Keywords: coal, organized labor, restructuring, transition, welfare


RePEc: http://ideas.repec.org/a/fau/fauart/v57y2007i5-6p272-291.html

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