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Income distribution, economic systems and transition

In: Handbook of Income Distribution

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  • Flemming, J.S.
  • Micklewright, John

Abstract

We consider the differences in income distribution between market and planned economies in two ways. First, using benchmarks from the OECD area we review evidence from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union during the socialist period. Second, we look at the transitions currently being made by the latter. In each case we review available data and the problems they present before considering in turn: (i) the distribution of earnings of full-time employees; (ii) the distribution of individuals' per capita household incomes; and (iii) the ways in which the picture is altered by nonwage benefits from work, price subsidies and social incomes in kind. For the socialist period we are able to consider long series of data, often covering several decades, and we can thus show the changes in the picture of distribution under the socialist system. We also emphasise the diversity across the countries concerned. For the period of transition, itself incomplete, the series are inevitably shorter but we are able to avoid basing conclusions on evidence drawn from single years. The picture during transition, like that under socialism, is varied. Russia has experienced very sharp increases in measured inequality to well above the top of the OECD range. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have seen more modest rises. We note the lack of a satisfactory analytic framework in the literature that encompasses enough features of the transition, a framework which would help interpretation of the evidence.

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  • Flemming, J.S. & Micklewright, John, 2000. "Income distribution, economic systems and transition," Handbook of Income Distribution,in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 843-918 Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:incchp:1-14
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    1. Roumiana Gantcheva & *UNICEF, 2001. "Children in Bulgaria: Growing impoverishment and unequal opportunities," Papers inwopa01/12, Innocenti Working Papers.
    2. Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Does Globalization Make the World More Unequal?," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 227-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Stephen P. Jenkins & John Micklewright, 2007. "New Directions in the Analysis of Inequality and Poverty," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 700, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Nauro F. Campos & Abrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-836, September.
    5. Grosjean, Pauline & Senik, Claudia, 2008. "Why Populist Democracy Promotes Market Liberalization," IZA Discussion Papers 3527, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Borghesi, Simone & Vercelli, Alessandro, 2003. "Sustainable globalisation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 77-89, February.
    7. Suhrcke, Marc, 2001. "Preferences for Inequality: East vs. West," Discussion Paper Series 26369, Hamburg Institute of International Economics.
    8. Brzezinski, Michal, 2018. "Income inequality and the Great Recession in Central and Eastern Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 219-247.
    9. Branko Milanovic & Mark Gradstein & Yvonne Ying, 2003. "Democracy, Ideology And Income Inequality: An Empirical Analysis," Public Economics 0305002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Anna Lukiyanova & Nina Vishnevskaya, 2015. "The Decentralization of Minimum Wage Setting in Russia Economies," HSE Working papers WP BRP 90/EC/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
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    12. Khor, Niny & Pencavel, John, 2008. "Measuring Income Mobility, Income Inequality, and Social Welfare for Households of the People’s Republic of China," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 145, Asian Development Bank.
    13. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2006. "Knowing what is good for you: Empirical analysis of personal preferences and the "objective good"," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 285-307, April.
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    15. Suhrcke, Marc, 2001. "Preferences for inequality: East vs. West," HWWA Discussion Papers 150, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    16. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Klara Sabirianova Peter & Dmitriy Stolyarov, 2010. "Inequality and Volatility Moderation in Russia: Evidence from Micro-Level Panel Data on Consumption and Income," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 209-237, January.
    17. Gerardo Angeles-Castro, 2006. "The relationship between economic growth and inequality: evidence from the age of market liberalism," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_009, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    18. Niny Khor & John Pencavel, 2006. "Income mobility of individuals in China and the United States," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(3), pages 417-458, July.
    19. Aristei, David & Perugini, Cristiano, 2012. "Inequality and reforms in transition countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 2-10.
    20. Marc Suhrcke, 2001. "Preferences for Inequality: East vs. West," Papers inwopa01/17, Innocenti Working Papers.
    21. Gerardo Angeles-Castro, 2006. "The Relationship Between Economic Growth and Inequality: Evidence from the Age of Market Liberalism," Studies in Economics 0601, School of Economics, University of Kent.
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    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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