Economic Transformation and Social Inequality in Eurasian Countries
Patterns of income distribution and social structure place certain constrains on any country’s economic development. Economic growth also causes changes in social structures but rather differently depending on a country’s level of development. On the one hand, Eurasia includes industrially developed countries with a comparatively high-income level and mature civil society but currently experiencing very slow recovering from the economic crisis. On the other hand, there are emerging Asian countries with a considerable share of poor people and lack of democracy but showing fast economic growth and rising global influence. In terms of growth and inequality Eurasian countries are as different as all the countries together. This paper compares correlations between economic progress and inequality of 55 countries in 1992-2010 both in general and by income groups. It shows that as a part of middle (and low) income trap social inequality changes go quite slow for fast growing countries. Consequently, success of development and achieving social stability will need comprehensive economic policy, not just GDP growth.