The Experience of Rising Inequality in Russia and China during the Transition

UTIP Working Paper No.23

by James K. Galbraith, Ludmila Krytynskaia, Qifei Wang, University of Texas Inequality Project (UTIP), 2003
Language : English

Following the collapse of socialism in Russia and the economic reforms in China, economic inequality rose sharply in both countries. In this paper, James K. Galbraith, Ludmila Krytynskaia and Qifei Wang try to explain why the Soviet collapse had adverse consequences for many parts of the Russian population while the Chinese experience produced a continuing rise of average living standards. Nevertheless In both countries, regional inequalities rose more sharply than inequalities across sectors but within regions. In particular, major urban centers gained dramatically, relative to the hinterlands. In both countries, moreover, there was a considerable reorientation of sectoral advantage, in both cases toward those sectors exercising the largest degrees of monopoly power. In both countries, the relative position of finance improved sharply, while that of agriculture declined.


Galbraith, James K., Ludmila Krytynskaia, and Qifei Wang. 2003. The Experience of Rising Inequality in Russia and China during the Transition. UTIP Working Paper No.23. Austin: University of Texas Inequality Project.

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