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Poverty risk and consumption smoothing abilities in Russia

  • Notten, Geranda
  • de Crombrugghe, Denis

This paper investigates to what extent Russian households have been able to protect their consumption against income shocks during the transition and in what manner the ability to smooth consumption is related to poverty risk. We use data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (1994-2004). Empirical analyses of such panels have often been based on differenced data in order to eliminate individual household effects. An innovative aspect of this study is that we model households smoothing behaviour by means of an Error Correction Mechanism (ECM); this model explicitly distinguishes between short and long run dynamics of consumption and income and thus better exploits the information in the level data. We find that households are only partially able to protect their consumption from income shocks and that income shocks have a smaller impact on food consumption than on non-food consumption. The results also suggest that the population is not homogeneous in terms of consumption smoothing abilities; partial estimations show that consumption smoothing ability improve as the living standard increases. However, below average consumption smoothing abilities are not always associated with higher poverty risk; rural households, who have a high poverty risk, manage to smooth food expenditures quite well, most likely because they have more opportunities to produce their own food. These exploratory results suggest that development and social protection policies should not only play a role in terms of poverty reduction but also influence households' abilities to manage risks.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5314.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision: 27 Jul 2007
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5314
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  1. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  2. Townsend, R.M., 1991. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-3, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  3. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2001. "Applications of Generalized Method of Moments Estimation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 87-100, Fall.
  4. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  5. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-98, December.
  6. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
  7. Morduch, J., 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Papers 512, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  8. Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, . "Risk Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines," Working Papers 97014, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  9. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-56, October.
  11. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  12. Morduch, Jonathan, 1994. "Poverty and Vulnerability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 221-25, May.
  13. Notten, Geranda & Neubourg, Chris de, 2007. "Managing risks: what Russian households do to smooth consumption?," MPRA Paper 4670, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Martin Ravallion & Shubham Chaudhuri, 1997. "Risk and Insurance in Village India: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 171-184, January.
  15. Windmeijer, Frank, 2005. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear efficient two-step GMM estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 25-51, May.
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