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Housing and Income Distribution in Russia: Zhivago's Legacy

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  • Buckley, Robert M
  • Gurenko, Eugene N

Abstract

The inadequacy of housing and its effect on the quality of life go a long way toward explaining many aspects of Russian life, but little data has been available to determine how housing affected the relative well-being of the citizenry. This paper presents comprehensive data examining for the first time the effect that seventy years of a socialist housing allocation scheme had on the distribution of income. It seems clear that housing provided by the government or by employers has a value that can be measured to yield useful inferences about the distribution of income and wealth. This article shows that housing allocation had a progressive effect on the distribution of income in Russia. In addition, when the imputed value of housing is added to household income, the increase in income inequality that occurred in recent years is significantly reduced. The analysis concludes with a discussion of how housing policy could be used to address poverty concerns, an important aspect of the transition process.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal World Bank Research Observer.

Volume (Year): 12 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 19-32

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:12:y:1997:i:1:p:19-32

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References

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  1. Prell, Mark A, 1989. "The Measurement of Housing Output: U.S. and Soviet Case Studies," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 35(3), pages 297-315, September.
  2. Atkinson,Anthony Barnes & Micklewright,John, 1992. "Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Distribution of Income," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438827, October.
  3. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 1994. "Japan's Consumption and Saving in International Perspective," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, January.
  4. James Alm & David L Sjoquist, 1995. "Social Services and the Fiscal Burden in Russia," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(4), pages 19-30, December.
  5. Poterba, James M, 1992. "Taxation and Housing: Old Questions, New Answers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 237-42, May.
  6. Ivanov, Youri & Rjabushkin, Boris & Homenko, Tatjana, 1993. "Introduction of the SNA into the Official Statistics of the Commonwealth of Independent States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(3), pages 279-94, September.
  7. Alexeev, Michael, 1988. "The effect of housing allocation on social inequality: A soviet perspective," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 228-234, June.
  8. Kessler, Denis & Wolff, Edward N, 1991. "A Comparative Analysis of Household Wealth Patterns in France and the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 249-66, September.
  9. Kakwani, Nanak, 1995. "Income inequality, welfare, and poverty : an illustration using Ukranian data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1411, The World Bank.
  10. Yates, Judith, 1994. "Imputed Rent and Income Distribution," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(1), pages 43-66, March.
  11. Daniel, Zsuzsa, 1985. "The effect of housing allocation on social inequality in Hungary," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 391-409, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christoph Bühler, 2003. "Additional work, family agriculture, and the birth of a first or a second child in Russia at the beginning of the 1990s," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-012, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  2. Shireen Kanji, 2011. "Labor Force Participation, Regional Location, and Economic Well-Being of Single Mothers in Russia," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 62-72, March.
  3. Lukiyanova, Anna & Oshchepkov, Aleksey, 2012. "Income mobility in Russia (2000–2005)," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 46-64.
  4. Anderson, Kathryn & Pomfret, Richard, 2000. "Living Standards during Transition to a Market Economy: The Kyrgyz Republic in 1993 and 1996," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 502-523, September.
  5. Buckley, Robert & Cartwright, Kim & Struyk, Raymond & Szymanoski, Edward, 2003. "Integrating housing wealth into the social safety net : the elderly in Moscow," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3115, The World Bank.
  6. Maksim Yemelyanau, 2009. "Second agriculture in Belarus and Ukraine:subsistence or leisure?," BEROC Working Paper Series 08, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC).
  7. Frick, Joachim R. & Grabka, Markus M. & Smeeding, Timothy M. & Tsakloglou, Panos, 2010. "Distributional Effects of Imputed Rents in Five European Countries," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 167-179.
  8. Seeth, Harm Tho & Chachnov, Sergei & Surinov, Alexander & Von Braun, Joachim, 1998. "Russian poverty: Muddling through economic transition with garden plots," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(9), pages 1611-1624, September.
  9. Dániel, Zsuzsa, 1997. "Lakástámogatás és társadalmi újraelosztás
    [Housing subsidies and social redistribution]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(10), pages 848-877.
  10. Alexandre BERTIN (GREThA) & Matthieu CLEMENT (GREThA), 2007. "Poverty and shortage economy: a reappraisal with the capability approach (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2007-16, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.

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