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Types of Labour Commuting in Yugoslavia

Institute for social research in Zagreb
Publication Date
  • Economics


The paper contains theoretical discussion on the definition and the typology of labour commuting (daily, weekly and longer-interval), a review of the study of this phenomenon in Yugoslavia as well as the main characteristics of different types of labour commutings based on data from the Population Census of 1971 an 1981. Labour commuting within and between communes as well as between republics and/or autonomous provinces is analized. It came out that differences in the level of regional development are the main factor that affects the intensity and direction of the three main types of labour commuting. In the developed regions daily commuting of workers dominates at all levels. In the less developed regions it prevails only within a commune as a result of a poor transportation system and of the geographical isolation of many settlements. An non-economic factor that differentiates the intensity of inter-regional labour commuting is tradition which is reflected in the appearance and importance of longer-interval chain commuting. According to the 1981 Population Census of Yugoslavia 42 % of workers employed in the public and private sector of the economy were commuters. Even a third of the employed commute daily. While most of the weekly and longer-interval commuters work in the construction sector, industrial workers are the most numerous in daily commuting. In general most of the commuters are male and blue-collar workers. As a rule, female commuters are white-collar workers and commute daily. Based on the literature and data available on this matter, the author puts forward the assumption that in the developed regions of the country the so-called allochtonous exurbanite daily commuters prevail, while in the less developed regions the so-called external autochtonous commuters are dominant. Most of these commuters are peasant- -workers in the traditional sense, although in the most developed areas of Croatia and specially Slovenia the number of peasant-workers-commuters (with small farm with market-oriented production) has been increasing in the last decade.

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