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Article

Российский человеческий капитал: состояние и тенденции

The article analyses current trends of deteriorating of Russian human capital during the protracted systemic economic crisis that creates additional risks of decrease in quality of Russian human capital. Current trends in the social stratification of the society are investigated. Especially, the author examines the role and scope of the Russian middle class. A conclusion is made that in this county the middle class has a minor place in the social structure as compared with the developed countries. Moreover, its growth is suspended due to insufficient social and economic opportunities to achieve upward mobility in society. Special attention is given to approaches to the definition of poverty and its transformation in the modern Russian history. It is concluded that the official tool (the subsistence minimum) does not allow to adequately assess the extent of poverty and size of the underclass. Special attention is paid to the situation with changes in social status and behavior of the poor, i.e. to the growth of underclass. The author comes to a conclusion that current trends can have critical importance, thus putting under question the success of the whole strategy of so much needed large-scale structural reforms. At the same time, the author emphasizes the fact that the attempts targeted at solving the problems of poverty will not achieve the desired outcome without major overhaul of the national public administration system. The looming deterioration of the quality of Russian human capital cannot be fixed only by spot programs aimed at fighting poverty. Without major changes in the institutional basis of the modern Russian society such actions will inevitably turn out inefficient both from the point of view of allocated resources and, most importantly, from the point of view of social results.