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Vulnerability to welfare change during economic shocks: Evidence from the 1998 Russian crisis

Using changes in consumption as a proxy for ‘vulnerability’ we identify the characteristics associated with vulnerability around the time of the 1998 Russian financial crisis. In addition, we examine the role of formal and informal safety nets in preserving individual well being. We apply quantile regression techniques in order to identify the characteristics associated with vulnerability across the two periods. Amongst those most vulnerable during the crisis were, less educated individuals living in urban areas, in households containing greater numbers of pensioners. Furthermore, we found that increases in home production and help from relatives acted to decrease vulnerability, especially amongst those suffering the largest changes in consumption. Following the crisis, amongst the least vulnerable were, better educated individuals, resident in urban areas, able to increase home production, and in receipt of improved pension payments and child benefits.

Vulnerability to welfare change during economic shocks: Evidence from the 1998 Russian crisis