Using Personal Car Register for Measuring Economic Inequality in Countries with a Large Share of Shadow Economy: Evidence for Latvia
We suggest to use information from the state register of personal cars as an alternative indicator of economic inequality in countries with a large share of shadow economy. We illustrate our approach using the Latvian pool of personal cars. Our main finding is that the extent of household economic inequality in Latvia is much larger than officially assumed. The latest officially available estimate of the Gini coefficient is 0.36 for 2005, which is much lower than 0.55 for 2009 reported in our paper.
SOVIET ECONOMIC MODEL: UNION CENTER AND THE BALTIC REPUBLICS 1953 to March 1965 For the first time ever, this collection of documents offers its readers a whole range of sources on economic history of the Baltic republics. These documents will give the reader a picture of the main trends, problems and achievements of national economies of the Baltic republics, their interaction with the union Center, decision coordination mechanisms, conflicts and controversies accompanying these relationships.
In this paper we analyze the book that was hailed by Paul Krugman and the Financial Times as the book of the Year of 2014, through the lenses of the Intellectual Capital. Published in 2012, Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st century became a worldwide sensation and best seller because of the depth of its analysis and the controversy created by its findings. In a nutshell Piketty claims that contrary to the neoclassical forecast, inequality in the world might grow, due to a shock between forces of convergence and forces of divergence. Furthermore, Piketty also claims that only redistribution policies can reduce the inequality trend, and calls for a new set of social policies. All this is very impressive but for us what matters the most is how to put IC in the analysis. In this context, we analyze Piketty’s ideas using the concepts and theories on Intellectual Capital (Bonfour and Edvinsson 2005; Edvinsson and Malone, 1997; Kaplan and Norton, 1994), and we also recall what the main theories on inequalities are (Coleman, 1991, Atkinson 1983 or Stiglitz 2012), and about Welfare States (Esping Andersen, 1990). We find that in the history of socio-economic thought, Intellectual Capital and Inequalities have been marching in separate paths: not only the paradigms of analysis are totally different, but only a handful of empirical studies exist that bring together IC and inequalities. The fact is crucial for our paper because we believe that IC in fact increases inequality and explains growing inequality. We also found that Piketty almost does not address IC directly in his entire book, a fact that by itself speaks volumes about the position of IC in the world of socio-economic thought. Pikettys’ analysis, for all its importance, and novelty, is traditional and surprisingly old fashioned when it comes to considering Intangibles. He never uses IC, he seems to be unware of IC analysis. However we also think that most of Piketty’s analysis would gain strength if IC is considered (as we believe it certainly should be) as a major force of inequality in the economy of the 21st century. In the discussion of the paper we point out seven ways in which the inclusion of IC in the analysis could benefit Piketty’s conclusions; the seven ideas relate to Human Capital, super-professionals, billionaires, social policies and development, taxes on wealth, modern slavery, and the rise of political oligarchies in the 21st century. The paper is of limited scope because it is basically theoretical. The paper is original because we don’t know of any other previous study linking Piketty’s book to IC analysis; in this context we believe further efforts should be done in this very relevant area of research.
In the later decade Russia continued progress in terms of economic growth and lowering poverty. Yet Russia was much less successful in reducing inequality which skyrocketed after the market liberalization reforms in the early 1990s. Currently inequality in Russia has stabilized at the level which is significantly above the OECD average: the average Gini coefficient for the OECD countries in 2014 was 0.318, while it was 0.416 in Russia. Current macroeconomic environment with continuous recession, which started in 2014 and massive terms of trade shock due to collapse of oil prices, threatens to reverse Russia’s substantial achievements in terms of raising incomes of the population and reducing poverty. This chapter aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of income and wealth inequality in Russia and the impact of the current crisis. The focus throughout the chapter is on the national distribution of income and wealth. In market economies income and wealth serve as good predictors of well-being in other domains, such as social inclusion, education, health, etc.
The paper explores income based and non-monetary dimensions of inequality in Russia. It is argued that globalisation exacerbated inequality at least in three ways. Firstly, the adoption of global neo-liberal economic concepts resulted in an excessive reliance on market forces and a curtailment of social guarantees which produced a rise of wealth and income differentiation and undermined equality of opportunity. Secondly, the liberalisation of foreign trade and global competition gave impetus to a rapid development of the fuel sector exacerbating the structural bias in economy and wage differentiation. Thirdly, globalisation diversified employment opportunities for certain categories of workers with access to the international labour market which offered much better terms of employment as compared to Russian standards. Globalisation provided new opportunities for development and individual success but in the absence of a strong state commitment to equitable provision of social goods it is bound to exacerbate inequality problem.
The article provides a comparative analysis of models of electricity industry functioning in Russia and in the world by the example of Great Britain, the USA and Scandinavian countries. The author emphasizes basic models and analyzes advantages and disadvantages in the context of the reform processes taking place in the electricity industry. He gives a classification of the industry functioning models.