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The Role of Circumstances in The Differentiation of Russian Wages

The Role of Circumstances in The Differentiation of Russian Wages

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 14 (no. 2),

The purpose of this study is to determine the influence of circumstances (opportunities) and efforts on the wages differentiation of Russian citizens. Research objectives: identification of factors of circumstances, quantitative assessment of their contribution to the wages of Russians and their individual income groups. The research is based on the HSE RLMS data for 2004 and 2018 and LITS-III data for 2016. We applied parametric methods of regression analysis, the Morduch-Sicular method of inequality decomposition, as well as the construction of quantile regressions. As a result of the study, we obtained assessments of the contribution of circumstances to wages inequality of the Russian population. We found that income inequality in the Russian labour market was primarily determined by the regional factor, to a lesser extent by the employment sector and the gender of the respondents. The least contribution to inequality was made by the factor of the employment formality. The influence of parents’ education on future earnings of offspring was also negligible – according to the model based on the LITS-III sample. The reduction in the contribution of circumstances to the general wage inequality in Russia in 2004–2018 was mainly due to a decrease in interregional differences in wages, where an active government policy of income redistribution played a significant role. The influence of circumstances on wage inequality was uneven in different quantiles of the distribution scale. In particular, employment in the metropolitan area or in the oil and gas sector has been most beneficial to high-income groups of workers. At the same time, parents’ education had the least and even negative effect on the earnings of the highest-paid people, which can be explained by the peculiarities of the formation of the modern Russian elite. The results of the study are applicable for conducting an effective social policy of the state.


Keywords: wages and salaries, differentiation, circumstances, inequality, decomposition, unconditional quantile

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