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Polarisation et déclin de la classe moyenne : le cas de la Russie

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    Abstract

    This article contributes to the analysis of Russian income polarization. Its aim is to assess the evolution of the middle class in Russia and to check whether governmental redistribution factors have affected its evolution during the last two decades. We apply two indices of bi-polarization and group polarization to household income data, to analyze the evolution of the middle class and polarization in Russia. The empirical investigations conducted as part of this research are based on the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey data from 1995 to 2010. During the first period, which is characterized by a increasing income inequality, we find that the middle class declined and income polarization increased, indicating the constitution of identified groups in lower and upper income ranges. In the second one, where the Russian economy suffered from the international crisis, we find that the middle class rose and polarization decreased. The level of income polarization is as high in rural areas as it is in urban areas, suggesting that the risk of social tensions exists in both areas. The results of this study confirm the effectiveness of gouvernmental redistributive mechanism to decrease polarization significantly.

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    File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2012/12054.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 12054.

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    Length: 22 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:12054

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    Keywords: Polarization; income redistribution; social classes; Russia.;

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    1. Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Li, Shi & Nivorozhkina, Ludmila, 2010. "Why Are Household Incomes More Unequally Distributed in China than in Russia?," IZA Discussion Papers 5383, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Leonardo Gasparini & Matías Horenstein & Sergio Olivieri, 2006. "Economic Polarisation in Latin America and the Caribbean: What do Household Surveys Tell Us?," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0038, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    3. Birdsall, N. & Graham, C. & Pettinato, S., 2000. "Stuck in the Tunnel: Is Globalization Muddling the Middle Class?," Papers 14, Brookings Institution - Working Papers.
    4. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2004. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1737-1772, November.
    5. Simon Clarke, 1999. "Poverty in Russia," Problems of Economic Transition, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 42(5), pages 5-55, September.
    6. D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2001. "Household Characteristics and the Distribution of Income in Italy: An Application of Social Distance Measures," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(1), pages 43-64, March.
    7. Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
    8. Katharine L. Bradbury, 1986. "The shrinking middle class," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 41-55.
    9. Patrick Festy & Daniel Verger & Lilia Ovtcharova & Lidia Prokofieva & Irina Kortchagina, 2005. "Conditions de vie et pauvreté en Russie," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 383(1), pages 219-244.
    10. Abdelkrim Araar, 2008. "On the Decomposition of Polarization Indices: Illustrations with Chinese and Nigerian Household Surveys," Cahiers de recherche 0806, CIRPEE.
    11. Li Peilin, 1996. "Has China Become Polarized?," Chinese Economy, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 29(3), pages 73-76, May.
    12. Joe C. Davis & John H. Huston, 1992. "The Shrinking Middle-Income Class: A Multivariate Analysis," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 277-285, Summer.
    13. Easterly, William, 2001. " The Middle Class Consensus and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 317-35, December.
    14. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
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