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Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Vasiliy Anikin (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

:Income stratification in Russia: Justification of Boundaries

The present paper proposes an income-based stratification system for the contemporary Russia. We primarily target the theoretical and statistical justification of the boundaries between the income groups. The prior literature does not have a consensus view on what are the monetary bounds of the poor, the middle class, the rich, and other income groups. Moreover, the researchers still have discussions regarding the number of such groups. The present study proposes a stratification profile for Russia consisting of five income groups relatively defined via the national median of per capita household monthly incomes regarding the following bounds: from 0 to 0.5 median; from 0.5 to 0.75 median (which we consider a monetary bound for poverty in Russia); from 0.75 to 1.25 median; from 1.25 to 2 medians (monetary bound of the middle class); more than 2 medians (lower monetary bound for the affluent and rich). Drawing on the representative all-Russian survey conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Science in 2015, we propose a robustness check of the selected boundaries for the income groups. Using stepwise cluster analysis, we show that these five income groups (defined within the selected limits) are optimal to describe a one-dimensional social differentiation based on the income distribution. Researchers can use these results to construct a multidimensional stratification scheme. The listed findings may be also useful in the international comparisons and forecasts.