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Consumption smoothing and vulnerability in Russia

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  • Christopher Gerry
  • Carmen Li

Abstract

Applying bootstrapped quantile regression to the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) data, we examine the channels through which individuals experience and seek to cope with changes in consumption. We find that married individuals living in small households, with educated heads in urban areas are better equipped to smooth consumption. Investigating the impact of idiosyncratic shocks, we find that the labour market is an important transmission mechanism allowing households to smooth their consumption but also exposing them to risk, mainly through job loss. Outside of pension payments, the formal social safety net does not facilitate consumption smoothing, thus heightening the importance of informal coping institutions. It transpires that both support from relatives/friends and home production act as important insurance mechanisms for the most vulnerable. In contrast with previous findings, it would seem that regardless of its historical, political and social roots, the garden plots and dachas, often romanticized in Russian literature, do provide a means by which 'urban' Russians are able to cope with economic fluctuations. We finish by stressing the important policy lessons for Russia's developing market economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2010)
Issue (Month): 16 ()
Pages: 1995-2007

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:16:p:1995-2007

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  1. Ligon, Ethan & Laura Schechter, 2002. "Measuring Vulnerability," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 128, Royal Economic Society.
  2. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Celidoni, Martina, 2011. "Vulnerability to poverty: An empirical comparison of alternative measures," MPRA Paper 33002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Kseniya Abanokova & Michael Lokshin, 2013. "Changes in household composition as a shock-mitigating strategy," HSE Working papers WP BRP 38/EC/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  3. Nivorozhkina, Ludmila & Nivorozhkin, Anton & Abazieva, Kamilla, 2010. "Drop in consumption associated with retirement. The regression discontinuity design approach," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 19(3), pages 112-126.
  4. Maksim Yemelyanau, 2009. "Second agriculture in Belarus and Ukraine:subsistence or leisure?," BEROC Working Paper Series 08, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC).
  5. Larysa Krasnikova & Olena Osinkina & Tamara Podvysotskaya & Yuriy Podvysotskiy, 2012. "Social Aspects of Crisis Effects on Households: The Case of Ukraine," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 103, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  6. Anton Nivorozhkin & Ludmila Nivorozhkina & Kamila Abazieva, 2013. "Expenditures and Income Adequacy at Retirement," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 2017-2023.

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