From Soviets to oligarchs: inequality and property in Russia 1905-2016

From Soviets to oligarchs: inequality and property in Russia 1905-2016 This paper combines national accounts, survey, wealth and fiscal data (including recently released tax data on high-income taxpayers) in order to provide consistent series on the accumulation and distribution of income and wealth in Russia from the Soviet period until the present day. We find that official survey-based measures vastly under-estimate the rise of inequality since 1990. According to our benchmark estimates, top income shares are now similar to (or higher than) the levels observed in the United States. We also find that inequality has increased substantially more in Russia than in China and other ex-communist countries in Eastern Europe. We relate this finding to the specific transition strategy followed in Russia. According to our benchmark estimates, the wealth held offshore by rich Russians is about three times larger than official net foreign reserves, and is comparable in magnitude to total household financial assets held in Russia. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Economic Inequality Springer Journals

From Soviets to oligarchs: inequality and property in Russia 1905-2016

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Economics; Economic Growth; Development Economics; International Economics; Political Science; Public Finance
ISSN
1569-1721
eISSN
1573-8701
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10888-018-9383-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper combines national accounts, survey, wealth and fiscal data (including recently released tax data on high-income taxpayers) in order to provide consistent series on the accumulation and distribution of income and wealth in Russia from the Soviet period until the present day. We find that official survey-based measures vastly under-estimate the rise of inequality since 1990. According to our benchmark estimates, top income shares are now similar to (or higher than) the levels observed in the United States. We also find that inequality has increased substantially more in Russia than in China and other ex-communist countries in Eastern Europe. We relate this finding to the specific transition strategy followed in Russia. According to our benchmark estimates, the wealth held offshore by rich Russians is about three times larger than official net foreign reserves, and is comparable in magnitude to total household financial assets held in Russia.

Journal

The Journal of Economic InequalitySpringer Journals

Published: May 29, 2018

References

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