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Earnings inequality and informal employment in Russia


Lukiyanova, Anna (2015). Earnings inequality and informal employment in Russia. Economics of Transition, 23(2), 469-516.


In this paper, we explore the relationship between informality and earnings inequality using the data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) for 2000–2010. We determine that during the entire period, earnings inequality was substantially higher in the informal sector. Informality increases earnings polarization, widening both tails of the earnings distribution. Nonetheless, inequality has declined in both formal and informal sectors. In the formal sector, changes in the distribution of monthly earnings between 2000 and 2010 were primarily generated by changes in the distribution of hourly earnings. In the informal sector, reduction of variation in monthly earnings went through two channels: declining differences in hourly rates and considerable compositional shifts within the informal sector. The results point to the importance of distributional analysis of earnings gaps and explicit accounting for the sector choice.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Economics of Transition


Lukiyanova, Anna