CASE Network Reports, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, Institutional reforms, Labor market, social policy and social services, labour market, CASE Reports, social assistance, transition economies, Ukraine

Social Security, Labour Market and Restructuring: Current Situation and Expected Outcomes of Reforms


The paper focuses on the social safety nets in Russian Federation and Ukraine in the view of changes on the labour market since the beginning of economic transition. The authors showed that many past phenomena (e.g. restructuring of the economy, wage and pension arrears, new groups at-risk-of-poverty, demographic transition) caused a need to change an old type social safety net (SSN) into the new one, better adapted to emerging more liberal economy problems.

Additionally, the authors analysed some gender specific issues related to social security that are caused mainly by inequalities in the labour market. Differences of earnings between men and women in Russia caused by sector segregation account for seem to be more important than the gap between gender earnings attributed to the position. In Ukraine the main contributors to gross gender differential of log earnings (that equals to 32%) explained by our model are sector segregation and occupation.

The authors also pointed out to future policy challenges in the area of social security systems in both countries. The retirement reforms introduced recently are a step in the right direction, although their impact will not be felt for a number of years. Other reforms, with more immediate results, are necessary. Social safety nets should be made more efficient and social benefits should be better targeted.