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Uniqueness of Russian Middle Class and its Future


  • Hiroaki HAYASHI

    () (The University of Shimane, Japan)


This paper clarifies some characteristics of the Russian middle class in terms of its size, composition and sense of values, and examines changes in the middle class, along with recent economic growth. The size of the middle class is quite a bit smaller than in advanced capitalist countries. The size of the subjective middle class is larger than that of the objective one. Representatives of the Russian middle class are inconsistent in the sense that they belong to various social groups, and some entrepreneurs and specialists who could be included in the middle class in advanced capitalist countries are not considered to belong to it in Russia. They make much of social capital like connections, human networks and so on as factors of success rather than diligence and hard work. In this sense, we can find both aspects to support and oppose a market economy in the sense of middle class values. As far as recent changes in the middle class are concerned, the size of the potential middle class could be quite a bit larger than we have expected, if we add such factors as the growth of self-employed people and income from the informal sector. Nevertheless, the author insists that the size of the middle class will not increase rapidly because of the enlarging economic differential, unstable position of the middle class, brain drain, etc.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiroaki HAYASHI, 2007. "Uniqueness of Russian Middle Class and its Future," The Journal of Comparative Economic Studies (JCES), The Japanese Society for Comparative Economic Studies (JSCES), vol. 3, pages 29-45, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cos:epaper:v:3:y:2007:p:29-45

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    Cited by:

    1. Zoya Nissanov & Maria Grazia Pittau, 2016. "Measuring changes in the Russian middle class between 1992 and 2008: a nonparametric distributional analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 503-530, March.

    More about this item


    Russia; middle class; economic differential;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy


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