Inequality in Income and Wealth in Russia
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.