Testing Kuznets' Hypothesis for Russian Regions: Trends and Interpretations
The paper established a number of "stylized facts", one of which is a confirmation of S. Kuznets' hypothesis of the nonlinear dependence between the degree of inequality in income distribution and welfare economic systems on the example set of Russian regions for the period 2002-2012. It is shown that, for a given sample, the welfare and economic growth factors amplifies their influence on inequality in income distribution in the post-crisis period. Observed before the 2008 crisis, monotonous growth of income inequality in the process of raising the per capita GRP is slowing in the post-crisis period, and for the foreseeable future, in some regions, its direction can be reversed, while maintaining a trend of socio-economic development. Despite the persistence over time of a convex nature of S. Kuznets' curve for Russian regional data its parameters are changed during the reporting 2002-2012 period. The maximum point of the curve shifts to the left, its convexity increases. These facts indicate that the growth of income inequality Russian regions as a result of growth of per capita GRP is slowing. For some regions in the post-crisis period (after 2008), income inequality does not grow with the growth of per capita gross regional product, or it even reduces. This fact can be attributed to the implementation of the Russian federal socially oriented projects and programs in recent years. The results of the presented paper can be used for the implementation of regional economic policy in order to regulate the level of inequality in income distribution in the regions of Russia.
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