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Are Uzbeks Better Off? Economic Welfare and Ethnicity in Kyrgyzstan

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  • Steiner, Susan
  • Esenaliev, Damir

Abstract

In the light of violent clashes between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan in June 2010 we investigate the association between economic welfare and ethnicity in this country. We intend to answer two questions. First, are Uzbek households better off than Kyrgyz households, as is often claimed in the media and also by some academics? Second, what are the correlates of household welfare in recent years, and how have these changed in comparison with the 1990s? We use data from two cross-sections of the Kyrgyz Integrated Household Survey (2003 and 2005) and run OLS regressions using three measures of welfare, i.e. per capita consumption, per capita income, and an asset index. We find some evidence for higher welfare of Uzbek headed households compared with their Kyrgyz counterparts, but mainly in rural areas. In the south of the country, where most Uzbeks live and where the violence took place, there appears to be no substantial difference in welfare. This is clearly in contrast to what was commonly propagated in the media and what most Kyrgyz tend to think. In terms of the other correlates of welfare, we find that household size, educational attainment of adults, and residence outside the capital and the neighbouring Chui oblast are most importantly connected with welfare. This coincides with findings from earlier studies using data from a decade earlier.

Suggested Citation

  • Steiner, Susan & Esenaliev, Damir, 2011. "Are Uzbeks Better Off? Economic Welfare and Ethnicity in Kyrgyzstan," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 75, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:75
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anderson, Kathryn & Pomfret, Richard, 2000. "Living Standards during Transition to a Market Economy: The Kyrgyz Republic in 1993 and 1996," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 502-523, September.
    2. Frances Stewart, 2000. "Crisis Prevention: Tackling Horizontal Inequalities," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(3), pages 245-262.
    3. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101.
    4. Filmer, Deon*Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
    5. World Bank, 2003. "Kyrgyz Republic : Enhancing Pro-poor Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14641, The World Bank.
    6. Anderson, Kathryn H. & Pomfret, Richard, 2002. "Relative Living Standards in New Market Economies: Evidence from Central Asian Household Surveys," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 683-708, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:taf:ceasxx:v:67:y:2015:i:3:p:370-387 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Damir Esenaliev & Antje Kröger & Susan Steiner, 2011. "The Kyrgyz Integrated Household Survey (KIHS): A Primer," Data Documentation 62, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Kroeger, Antje & Anderson, Kathryn H., 2014. "Remittances and the human capital of children: New evidence from Kyrgyzstan during revolution and financial crisis, 2005–2009," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 770-785.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Household welfare; ethnicity; Kyrgyzstan;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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