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Is The Cost Of Living In Russia Really That Low?


  • Konstantin Gluschenko



There is a widespread opinion that goods, especially foods, and services in Russia are very cheap as compared to the US. A number of Russian statistical indicators characterizing the cost of living, either directly or indirectly, seemingly corroborate this opinion. This paper demonstrates that these indicators are biased, sufficiently understating the cost of living in Russia. A comparison of Russian actual prices for foods with those in the US evidences that they are comparable. Moreover, the Russian prices are tending to catch up with the US prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Konstantin Gluschenko, 2008. "Is The Cost Of Living In Russia Really That Low?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp949, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2009-949

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Balázs Égert & László Halpern & Ronald MacDonald, 2006. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates in Transition Economies: Taking Stock of the Issues ," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 257-324, April.
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    More about this item


    food prices; cost of living; minimum wage; subsistence level; Russia; US.;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • P22 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Prices


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