Economic Sociology, 2021 (2)
en-usCopyright 2021Wed, 31 Mar 2021 10:05:40 +0300Editor’s Foreword (Vadim Radaev)
Transformation of the Institution of Administrative Complaints in Civilian Uniforms
On the basis of the integration of A. Hirschman's “voice-exit” theory and the author's theory of the distribution economy, the universal nature of the institution of complaints as a mechanism for generating new social practices is substantiated, and an analysis of civil complaints is carried out. In restricted access orders, complaints are an attribute of administrative management, while in open access orders, the civil complaints employed are not only received by the authorities but are also presented in public forms. In contrast to the widespread understanding of complaints as a socio-psychological phenomenon, this article reveals the mechanism of their active influence on the formation of the institutional environment throughout its historical development, which explains the revival of this institution as a feedback signal in new digital and communicative forms in the modern Russian economy. To solve this task, we used a methodology of analyzing institutional changes as “a path dependent on the previous development,” which traces the formation and development of the basic institution of complaints at three stages of the evolution of the distribution economy in Russia, as well as the institution’s acquisition of a modern state on the basis of new platforms and authorized public events. As a result, there has been a gradual transition to civil forms of complaints, which include different types of public activity to present unresolved problems. It is established that local protests on socio-economic issues, in fact, are an unformalized part of the institution of complaints and actively influence decision-making in the modern management model.The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths (an excerpt)
In the book The Entrepreneurial State, Mariana Mazzucato challenges the widespread idea that the State cannot pick winners, that it is clumsy, bureaucratic and incapable of entrepreneurial risk taking. Her analysis is not just Keynesian; it is also Schumpeterian. The role of the State is not limited to interventions in the macroeconomy as a “market fixer” or as the passive financer of public R & D. The State is also seen as entrepreneur, risk taker and market creator. Mazzucato’s argument goes well beyond the role played by government in countries that have recently forged ahead (Japan in the 1980s or South Korea in the 1990s) to focus on the role played by the public sector agencies of the United States, the wealthiest country in the world and an active promoter of “free markets,” in making risky investments behind the Internet and in funding most of the crucial elements behind the “stars” of the information revolution, companies such as Google and Apple. The Journal of Economic Sociology publishes Chapter 1 of the book, “From Crisis Ideology to the Division of Innovative Labour,” in which the State is presented as an entrepreneurial agent, one taking on the most risky and uncertain investments in the economy. The State does not “derisk” as if it has a “magic wand” that makes risks disappear. It takes on risks, shaping and creating new markets. The author displays the role the State has played in the past, in areas like Silicon Valley, and the role that it can play in the future in areas like the “green revolution.”Consumption of Cultural Goods in Russia: Scale, Determinants, Differentiation
This paper is the first in the Russian economic and sociological literature that provides a general stylized picture of the consumption of cultural goods in Russia using microdata from representative household surveys. The empirical basis of analysis is Rosstat’s Complex Observation of the Living Conditions of the Population for 2011–2018, which so far has been ignored by researchers. Four main kinds of cultural goods are distinguished—cinema, theater, concerts and museums—and the probabilities and intensity of their consumption are assessed. The analysis shows that in Russia at present, about every second adult consumes some cultural goods during the year. Cinema is the most popular good, followed by concerts, theater and museums. A regular audience is approximately one-fifth of the total audience. The primary focus of the paper is on evaluating the contributions of various factors of demand for cultural goods. There is also a detailed discussion of another important behavioral question: to what extent does demand by individuals for any one cultural good stimulate their demand for all other ones? In the econometric part of the paper, two types of models are constructed and evaluated: ordinary logit (for likelihood of consumption) and multinomial logit (for intensity of consumption). The results obtained show that two groups of factors make the highest contributions: on the one hand, economic (such as income), and, on the other, cultural (such as education, occupation and experience with the Internet). In the Russian context there is a visible empirical regularity: the higher the income of individuals, the more active they are culturally. The wealthiest groups go to the movies two and a half times more often, to the theaters seven times more often, to concerts twice as often, and to museums six times more often than the poorest ones.Participation in Professional Training and Non-Economic Effects for Workers in Russia
The goal of the paper is to identify the relationship between participation in professional training financed by the employer and its non-economic effects: subjective control and job satisfaction (including satisfaction with pay and with professional growth opportunities). According to the human capital theory, participation in professional training accumulates both specific and general human capital; workers develop their skills and become more flexible in the labor market. We test the hypothesis that participation in professional training will be positively interrelated with employees’ subjective control and job satisfaction. The empirical base of the study is formed by the Russian Longitudinal Household Monitoring Survey (RLMS—HSE), waves 19 and 20 (2010 and 2011). The analysis identified positive effects only in the case of subjective control, but not for job satisfaction. This partially supports our hypothesis. The results show that workers who participated in professional training, compared to the workers who did not, will have a higher level of subjective control, i.e., workers feel more in control of their circumstances at work and in life. However, no effect of training was found in the case of job satisfaction. A possible reason is that training is not sufficiently integrated in the short career structures of low- or middle-skill jobs. Therefore, participation in professional training does not widen professional mobility opportunities in this labor market segment and thus is not associated with higher job satisfaction.What is Wrong with the Concept of Job Readiness in Higher Education?
Equipping students with employability skills has become a novel mission of universities since the late 21st century. Discussion on how to make students more job-ready has appeared as a core of the education policy agenda. The roots of the job readiness agenda in higher education (HE) are mostly studied through the lens of changes in the HE sector and are regarded as a result of the massification and vocationalisation of HE. But these explanations only implicitly consider labor market changes that trigger the employability agenda. This paper challenges the job readiness agenda in HE, especially the pressure being put on HE institutions that are expected to fit students to employer’s needs. In order to find the grounds and justification for the employability agenda, I study its cornerstone theses through the lens of labor market theories. The research reveals that not all of these theses are well grounded in labor market theories and empirics. On the one hand, the employability narrative is justified by the decreased signaling function of education credentials and the increasing demand for universal skills and updated technical skills. On the other hand, alarmism concerning skill deficits and shortages that places pressure on HE doesn't fully match theories and empirical evidence. The most relevant concept of employability and job readiness could be elaborated in the framework of universal competencies or 21st-century skills. Being job-ready means being prepared for a flexible career and lifelong learning instead of being fitted to short-term requirements. This conceptual framework establishes a shared responsibility for developing skills and managing skill gaps between individuals, employers and educational institutions.The Exception that Proves the Rule: The Development of Central Banks as an Example of Successful Institutional Reforms in Post-Communist Countries Book Review: Johnson J. (2016) Priests of Prosperity. How Central Bankers Transformed the Postcommunist World. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 312 p
Juliet Johnson is a researcher of politics and finance in the post-Soviet countries and chairperson of the Department of Political Science at McGill University. Her book Priests of Prosperity informs us about the history of the development of central banks in post-communist countries. This story is one of the most interesting episodes of post-Soviet institution building, presenting a rare example of the successful import of an institution birthed in developed democracies. The creation of independent central banks in the early 1990s was accompanied by the introduction of advanced economic approaches that did not exist in these countries. However, this process has completely succeeded, even in those countries where other reforms did not succeed. Johnson recreates this story in an extremely reliable and detailed way. Over a 15-year period, the author conducted more than 160 interviews in 17 countries; she also examined five of them more closely by using a case study and statistics. This investigation contains a large amount of unique empirical material. In addition, it presents the author's own theoretical approach. Johnson's book is not only an example of serious large research, but is also an example of using the institution transplantation model. The book received a number of positive reviews in leading journals on the post-Soviet region as well as prestigious international awards. This review briefly presents the contents of the entire book, containing the opinions of some authors while also discussing in detail certain points of the book that seemed most interesting to the author of this review.