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Income Inequality and Oligarchs in Russian Regions: A Note

Listed author(s):
  • Jarko Fidrmuc
  • Lidwina Gundacker

We trace the rise of the so called oligarchs in post-Soviet Russia and examine their relationship to income distribution in Russia. When Russia moved to a market economy in the 1990s a new business elite evolved. Russia’s distinctive path towards market economy, among other factors, gave rise to the oligarchs who now control large parts of the economy and have a strong standing within politics and society. Using a unique regional data set on the locations of oligarchs’ businesses across the Russian regions, we test Acemoglu’s (2008) proposition that oligarchic societies experience extreme income inequality. Our results show significantly higher levels of income inequality in regions with a higher presence of oligarchs.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 6449.

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Date of creation: 2017
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6449
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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
  2. Daron Acemoglu, 2008. "Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-44, 03.
  3. Karla Hoff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2004. "After the Big Bang? Obstacles to the Emergence of the Rule of Law in Post-Communist Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 753-763, June.
  4. Oded Galor (ed.), 2009. "Inequality and Economic Development: The Modern Perspective," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 12993.
  5. Vicente Royuela & Paolo Veneri & Raul Ramos, 2014. "Income Inequality, Urban Size and Economic Growth in OECD Regions," OECD Regional Development Working Papers 2014/10, OECD Publishing.
  6. Charles T. Haworth & James E. Long & David W. Rasmussen, 1978. "Income Distribution, City Size, and Urban Growth," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 15(1), pages 1-7, February.
  7. Nugent, Jeffrey B. & Robinson, James A., 2010. "Are factor endowments fate?," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(01), pages 45-82, March.
  8. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  9. Sergei Guriev & Andrei Rachinsky, 2005. "The Role of Oligarchs in Russian Capitalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 131-150, Winter.
  10. World Bank, 2015. "World Development Indicators 2015," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21634, April.
  11. Saul Estrin & Jan Hanousek & Evzen Kocenda & Jan Svejnar, 2009. "The Effects of Privatization and Ownership in Transition Economies," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 699-728, September.
  12. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089.
  13. H. Lehmann & M. G. Silvagni, 2013. "Is There Convergence of Russia’s Regions? Exploring the Empirical Evidence: 1995 – 2010," Working Papers wp901, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  14. Sidorov, Alexey & Alexeyeva, Irina & Shklyarik, Elena, 2000. "The Ethical Environment of Russian Business," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 911-924, October.
  15. Padma Desai, 2005. "Russian Retrospectives on Reforms from Yeltsin to Putin," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 87-106, Winter.
  16. Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  17. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Grygorenko, Yegor, 2008. "Are oligarchs productive? Theory and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 17-42, March.
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