Inequality and Mortality during Russia’s Economic Transition

  • Elizabeth Brainerd
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


As the twentieth century drew to a close, few Russians mourned its departure. A centenarian born at the turn of the century in Russia would have experienced in her lifetime an extraordinary range of events, encompassing civil war, revolution, famine, political purges, a devastating world war, and finally a traumatic if hopeful attempt to introduce capitalism into an economy previously run by central planning. Concurrently with the latter event, she would have witnessed an upsurge in mortality and decline in life expectancy of a magnitude never experienced by a country at peace. Russia’s struggles in the 1990s seem only a continuation of the difficulties of the past, as the reforms intended to improve the country’s standard of living have instead, at least initially, impoverished part of the population and led to continuing economic instability.


Income Inequality Income Distribution Suicide Rate Gini Coefficient Wage Inequality 
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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Brainerd
    • 1
  1. 1.Williams College and Center for International DevelopmentHarvard UniversityUSA

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