Lefranc, Jérôme (2012). Polarisation et déclin de la classe moyenne: le cas de la Russie. CES Working Papers no. 2012.54
This article contributes to the analysis of Russian income polarization. Its aim is to assess the evolution of the middle class in Russia and to check whether governmental redistribution factors have affected its evolution during the last two decades. We apply two indices of bi-polarization and group polarization to household income data, to analyze the evolution of the middle class and polarization in Russia. The empirical investigations conducted as part of this research are based on the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey data from 1995 to 2010. During the first period, which is characterized by an increasing income inequality, we find that the middle class declined and income polarization increased, indicating the constitution of identified groups in lower and upper income ranges. In the second one, where the Russian economy suffered from the international crisis, we find that the middle class rose and polarization decreased. The level of income polarization is as high in rural areas as it is in urban areas, suggesting that the risk of social tensions exists in both areas. The results of this study confirm the effectiveness of governmental redistributive mechanism to decrease polarization significantly.
CES Working Papers no. 2012.54