Earnings inequality and informal employment in Russia
In this paper, we explore the relationship between informality and earnings inequality using the data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) for 2000–2010. We determine that during the entire period, earnings inequality was substantially higher in the informal sector. Informality increases earnings polarization, widening both tails of the earnings distribution. Nonetheless, inequality has declined in both formal and informal sectors. In the formal sector, changes in the distribution of monthly earnings between 2000 and 2010 were primarily generated by changes in the distribution of hourly earnings. In the informal sector, reduction of variation in monthly earnings went through two channels: declining differences in hourly rates and considerable compositional shifts within the informal sector. The results point to the importance of distributional analysis of earnings gaps and explicit accounting for the sector choice.
This volume deals with one of the most understudied aspects of everyday life in Russian society. Its main heroes are the providers of goods and services to whom people turn for healthcare instead of official medical institutions. A wide range of agents is described—from network marketing companies to 'folk' journals on health as well as healers, complementary medicine specialists, and religious organizations. Krasheninnikova’s book is based on rich empirical observations and avoids both positive and critical assessment of the analyzed phenomena. Her investigation pays particular attention to the legal, social, and economic status of informal healthcare providers. She demonstrates that these agents tend to flourish in bigger towns rather than in small settlements, where public healthcare is lacking. The study reveals the important role of institutions that are generally not related to alternative medicine, such as pharmacies, libraries, and church shops. The result is a vivid and thorough introduction to the world of self-medication and alternative healing in contemporary Russia. A special emphasis was made on the flexibility of boundaries between formal and informal healthcare due to the evolution of rules and regulations.
The paper documents changes in the structure of earnings and earnings inequality in Russia for the period 1994–2003 using the RLMS data. The period covers few years of the transformational recession (1994–1998), the financial crisis in 1998 and the first years of economic recovery (2000–2003). A regression-based decomposition reveals that within-group inequality plays the largest, yet diminishing, role. Among the explanatory variables, the largest proportion of earnings dispersion (75%–80% of the explained level of inequality) is explained by the geographical variables and job characteristics. The decomposition results suggest that the rise in inequality after the financial crisis of 1998 is likely to be a result of the differences in the adjustment speeds across regions and industries. Employer ownership is only marginally important; however, its effect has been steadily increasing for women due to the increase in the public-private sector wage gap. Contrary to the initial expectations, the wage inequality in the public sector was different from that in the private sector: both were of a similar level and followed similar patterns of changes.
The author applied the decomposition method LMDI to investigate the factors that influences the energy intensity of power generation in Russia. The analysis allows to determine the connection between energy intensity of power generation and both technical and structural changes in electricity and heat production.
Inequality is a part of the economic reality of any society. It is also a constant focus of attention of academic community, from time to time becoming a matter of heated social and political debates. Social scientists consider the growth of income inequality as one of the major socio-economic risks posed by globalization. Inequality issues have acquired a particular importance in connection with the market transition of post-socialist countries, including Russia, where the ‘starting point’ of transformation was the centrally planned economy. The characteristic feature of the transition process has been a sharp increase in income inequality. In the late 1980s Russia, along with the Scandinavian countries was in the group of states with a low level of income inequality. At present, the scale of inequality in Russia is comparable to economies of Latin America. This note aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of income inequality in Russia for the period since the beginning of market reforms. The sources of data are both official macro-statistics and independent sociological surveys.
The article is devoted to police moonlighting in Russia. Despite the initial function of law regulation, in many countries police transformed in a destructive tool. In contemporary time police are highly involved in economic activity, which is embedded in business and political spheres. The authors describe the complicated intertwining of legal and illegal aspects of the activity, and bring light to fundamental causes of police moonlighting and socio-economic and political consequences of the phenomenon. The article is based on results of researches of key Russian teams in this field.
Informal practices are both accommodating and resistant to change. On the one hand, they adapt to change and serve to soften external constraints. On the other, they are grounded in informal norms and channel peer pressure within social circles
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.