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Child Benefits and Poverty: The Case of Russia
[Детские Пособия И Бедность В России]


  • Kolosnitsyna, Marina G. (Колосницына, Марина)

    (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

  • Philippova, Anna V. (Филиппова, Анна)

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)


25 years have passed since the beginning of the market reforms in Russia. Like other post-soviet countries, in the early 90s, Russia faced a period of sharp decline in real household incomes followed by gradual growth of the welfare of the population. However, income inequality remained a burning problem throughout this time. The poverty headcount is still about 13% on the average and varies greatly depending on territories and socio-demographic groups. Russian poverty has clear specifics: there is a high risk of poverty for families with children. This paper analyses effectiveness of child benefits from various perspectives. We estimate the benefits’ impact on the poverty of families with children using the concepts of absolute, relative and subjective poverty. The study is based on the pooled and panel household data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey conducted by the Higher School of Economics (RLMS HSE) in 2003–2015. We assess the influence of the child benefits on the probability of poverty using various econometric models. The results are robust and show that the system of child benefits all in all reduce the risk of absolute and relative poverty of the households. However, the subjective perception of poverty is positively correlated with the benefits. The study also reveals leaks and significant gaps in the coverage of poor families with the system of child benefits. Overall, the studybn confirms low effectiveness of the child benefits system in Russia and indicates a need for improving its targeting.

Suggested Citation

  • Kolosnitsyna, Marina G. (Колосницына, Марина) & Philippova, Anna V. (Филиппова, Анна), 2017. "Child Benefits and Poverty: The Case of Russia
    [Детские Пособия И Бедность В России]
    ," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 4, pages 118-153, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:rnp:ecopol:ep1745

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2002. "Self-rated economic welfare in Russia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1453-1473, September.
    2. Markus Jäntti & Sheldon Danziger, 1994. "Child Poverty in Sweden and the United States: The Effect of Social Transfers and Parental Labor Force Participation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(1), pages 48-64, October.
    3. Popova, Daria, 2014. "Distributional impacts of cash allowances for children: a microsimulation analysis for Russia and Europe," EUROMOD Working Papers EM2/14, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. Arcanjo, M. & Bastos, A. & Nunes, F. & Passos, J., 2013. "Child poverty and the reform of family cash benefits," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 11-23.
    5. Popova, Daria, 2013. "Impact assessment of alternative reforms of child allowances using RUSMOD - the static tax-benefit microsimulation model for Russia," EUROMOD Working Papers EM9/13, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    6. Irina Denisova & Stanislav Kolenikov & Ksenia Yudaeva, 2000. "Child Benefits and Child Poverty," Working Papers w0006, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    7. Bradshaw, Jonathan, 2012. "The case for family benefits," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 590-596.
    8. Theo Goedhart & Victor Halberstadt & Arie Kapteyn & Bernard van Praag, 1977. "The Poverty Line: Concept and Measurement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 12(4), pages 503-520.
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    More about this item


    child benefits; absolute poverty; relative poverty; subjective poverty; Russia.;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs


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