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Journal section "Social development"

Income Inequalities, Productive Structure and Macroeconomic Dynamics. A Regional Approach to the Russian Case

Vercueil J.

3 (45), 2016

Vercueil J. Income Inequalities, Productive Structure and Macroeconomic Dynamics. A Regional Approach to the Russian Case. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2016, no. 3 (45), pp. 108-120. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2016.3.45.6

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2016.3.45.6

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
During the past decades, sustained economic growth in emerging countries (and among them, BRICS countries) has attracted much attention in the western world. Multinational companies have been lured by the growing purchasing power of a significant part of the population, often presented as the “promised land” of consumer spending in durable goods, high tech services and fashion products. Of course, increasing incomes imply also significant socio-economic changes within these countries as well. A growing number of studies have been carried in order to track the evolution of income distribution in BRICS countries, and the formation and composition of a social group usually called “middle class” in western countries (Kharas (2010), SIEMS (2010), Levada (2012), Ernst and Young (2013), Kochhar R., Oates R. (2015)). In this paper we try to assess the impact of recent macroeconomic fluctuations on Russian households income levels. We analyse the Russian trajectory in three different ways. First, we compare the evolution of the “middle class” in Russia with other (B)RIC and western countries, using the wealthbased definition of this group proposed in the Global Wealth Report (Crédit Suisse Research Institute, 2015). Second, we go deeper into the Russian case in order to show how regional disparities regarding incomes distribution can be interpreted, considering the country’s recent macroeconomic trajectory. For this purpose, we build a productive typology of the Russian regions and study the link between each type and the level of income inequalities, using the varying structures in sources of household’s incomes as a possible explanation of regional variations. We conclude by an assessment of the remaining challenges for incomes policy in Russia

Keywords

concept of “middle class”, productive typology of the russian regions, income sources, evolution of income distribution

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