IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Increasing inequality in transition economies : is there more to come?

  • Mitra, Pradeep
  • Yemtsov, Ruslan

This paper decomposes changes in inequality, which has in general been increasing in the transition economies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, both by income source and socio-economic group, with a view to understanding the determinants of inequality and assessing how it might evolve in the future. The empirical analysis relies on a set of inequality statistics that, unlike"official data", are consistent and comparable across countries and are based on primary records from household surveys recently put together for the World Bank study"Growth, Poverty and Inequality in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union: 1998-2003"[World Bank (2005b)]. The increase in inequality in transition, as predicted by a number of theoretical models, in practice differed substantially across countries, with the size and speed of its evolution depending on the relative importance of its key determinants, viz., changes in the wage distribution, employment, entrepreneurial incomes and social safety nets. Its evolution was also influenced by policy. This diversity of outcomes is exemplified on the one hand for Central Europe by Poland, where the increase in inequality has been steady but gradual and reflects, inter alia, larger changes in employment and compensating adjustments in social safety nets and, on the other for the Commonwealth of Independent States by Russia, where an explosive overshooting of inequality peaked in the mid-1990s before being moderated through the extinguishing of wage arrears during its post-1998 recovery. The paper argues that the process of transition to a market economy is not complete and that further evolution of inequality will depend both on (i) transition-related factors, such as the evolution of the education premium, a bias in the investment climate against new private sector firms which are important vehicles of job creation and regional impediments to mobility of goods and labor, as well as increasingly (ii) other factors, such as technological change and globalization. The paper also contrasts key features of inequality in Russia in the context of other transition economies with trends in inequality observed in China where rapid economic growth has been accompanied by a steep increase in inequality. It argues that the latter's experience is, to a large extent, a developmental, rather than a transition-related phenomenonderiving from the rural-urban divide and is, therefore, of limited relevance for predicting changes in inequality in Russia.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2006/09/14/000160016_20060914143004/Rendered/PDF/wps4007.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4007.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4007
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Simon Commander & Andrei Tolstopiantenko & Ruslan Yemtsov, 1997. "Channels of Redistribution: Inequality and Poverty in the Russian Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 42, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. John Haltiwanger & Hartmut Lehmann & Katherine Terrell, 2003. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in Transition Countries," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(2), pages 205-219, June.
  3. Wu, Ximing & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 2004. "China'S Income Distribution Over Time: Reasons For Rising Inequality," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20061, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  4. Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2003. "Quo Vadis? Inequality and Poverty Dynamics across Russian Regions," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  5. Milanovic, Branko, 1998. "Explaining the increase in inequality during the transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1935, The World Bank.
  6. Benabou, R., 1996. "Inequality and Growth," Working Papers 96-22, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Theo S Eicher & Cecilia Garcia Penalosa, . "Inequality and Growth," Working Papers 0083, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  8. Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Inequality convergence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2645, The World Bank.
  9. Gustafsson, Bjorn & Shi, Li, 2001. "The Anatomy of Rising Earnings Inequality in Urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 118-135, March.
  10. Hartmut Lehmann & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2002. "Wage Arrears and the Distribution of Earnings in Russia," CERT Discussion Papers 0202, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  11. Krueger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3583, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Fleisher, Belton M. & Peter, Klara Sabirianova & Wang, Xiaojun, 2004. "Returns to Skills and the Speed of Reforms: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe, China, and Russia," IZA Discussion Papers 1182, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. 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.
  14. Gustafsson, Bjorn & Nivorozhkina, Ludmila, 2005. "How and why transition made income inequality increase in urban Russia: A local study," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 772-787, December.
  15. World Bank, 2005. "Russia : Reducing Poverty through Growth and Social Policy Reform," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8523, The World Bank.
  16. Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2001. "Fifty Years Of Regional Inequality In China: A Journey Through Revolution, Reform And Openness," Working Papers 7236, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  17. Frank Cowell, 1998. "Measurement of inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2084, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  18. Newell, Andrew T., 2001. "The Distribution of Wages in Transition Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 267, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  20. Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "How Much Inequality Can We Explain? A Methodology and an Application to the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 421-30, March.
  21. Kanbur, Ravi & Tuomala, Matti, 2002. "Understanding The Evolution Of Inequality During Transition: The Optimal Income Taxation," Working Papers 7240, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.