The concept of active ageing shifts the focus of the discussion of the consequences of ageing from negative expectations of a growing burden of public costs to the analysis of opportunities of using the potential of elderly people. This paper is aimed at testing the applicability of international approaches to measure active ageing to the situation in Russia. For this purpose, we use the international Active Ageing Index (AAI), developed by the experts from the European Centre Vienna. The AAI is a multidimensional composite index that consists of 22 indicators and measures the untapped potential of older people in four major areas: (1) employment, (2) participation in society, (3) independent, healthy and secure life, (4) capacity for active ageing. Our empirical estimation of the AAI is based on several surveys: Russian Population Census (2010), GGS (2011), CMLC (2011), ESS (2010 and 2012), RLMS (2011), HMD (2010), IHME (2010). These data sources provide relatively high comparability of the AAI results for Russia with EU countries. The results show that the AAI equals 31.1 points, which means about 69% of unused potential for active ageing of the elderly in Russia, and corresponds to the 18th place in ranking of 29 European countries. Russia performs relatively better in the employment and capacity for active ageing domains. It is in the bottom of the ranking in the independent, healthy and secure life domain
The paper presents a detailed analysis of the Russian official statistics for orphans and children placed out of parental care. Employing a wide range of data sources, the authors show that in Russia, the primary risk of orphanhood remains high. Although it has declined over the last 15 years, in 2015, the share of children taken out of parental care exceeds 2% of the total number of children under 18. At the same time, statistical data confirms the ongoing deinstitualisation of the Russian care system, a trend which has continued since the mid-2000s. Thus, 11.5% of children out of parental care were institutionalised in 2014, whereas in 2000 this share amounted to as much as 27%. However, the authors argue that the current childcare system reproduces a number of serious systemic problems. Firstly, despite the fact that over 80% of children entering the Russian care system per year have living parents, reuniting the children with the birth family is not yet recognised as a primary objective of the policy; according to the official statistics, only one out of ten children goes back home after being taken out of parental care. Secondly, for particular groups of children it is often hard to arrange family placements. Until now, higher risks of long-term institutionalisation are observed for children placed out of parental care at the age of three years or older, and particularly serious this problem is for teenagers, and also children with physical or mental disabilities. Thirdly, the prevalence and dynamics of number of children returned to institutions from foster placements highlight the importance of professional training for foster parents and need for consistent guidance for foster families, which are still underdeveloped in Russia. In the last section of the paper, authors discuss a possible outcome of this analysis for policies addressed to children left out of parental care.
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As defined by the OECD and following the international practice, social spending includes all public costs incurred by paying benefits, providing goods and services, as well as tax deductions and discounts, made for social purposes. Among the beneficiaries of these payments and services may be low-income households or certain social groups, such as the retired, disabled, sick and temporarily disabled people, unemployed, and some others. Social spending is generated by such systems as pension plans, healthcare, education (the OECD statistics covers only early childhood education and care), labor market programs, housing, and family policies. This spending is aimed at redistributing resources across households or targets all the citizens and implies compulsory participation. Apart from the definition above, some Russian authors interpret public social spending broader and include funding of the ...
In the face of rapidly aging population, decreasing regional inequalities in population composition is one of the regional cohesion goals of the European Union. To our knowledge, no explicit quantification of the changes in regional population aging differentiation exist. We investigate how regional differences in population aging developed over the last decade and how they are likely to evolve in the coming three decades, and we examine how demographic components of population growth contribute to the process. We use the beta-convergence approach to test whether regions are moving towards a common level of population aging. The change in population composition is decomposed into the separate effects of changes in the size of the non-working-age population and of the working-age population. The latter changes are further decomposed into the effects of cohort turnover, migration at working ages, and mortality at working ages. European Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS)-2 regions experienced notable convergence in population aging during the period 2003–2012 and are expected to experience further convergence in the coming three decades. Convergence in aging mainly depends on changes in the population structure of East-European regions. Cohort turnover plays the major role in promoting convergence. Differences in mortality at working ages, though quite moderate themselves, have a significant cumulative effect. The projections show that when it is assumed that net migration flows at working ages are converging across European regions, this will not contribute to convergence of population aging. The beta-convergence approach proves useful to examine regional variations in population aging across Europe.
Economic, Social, and Budget Problems of the Russian Regions in 2013-16
We examined the link between ethnic diversity and social capital to test Putnam’s hypothesis on the negative impact of ethnic diversity on social capital. Data came from a representative survey in two multicultural regions of Russia (N= 2,061). To assess the level of ethnic diversity, an ethnic diversity index was calculated using data from the latest National Population Census in Russia. Data were analyzed using two-level structural equation modeling. The results did not confirm Putnam’s hypothesis and showed that ethnic diversity, as assessed in the latest National Population Census in Russia, was not negatively related to social capital in Russia. We argue that the long-standing ethnic diversity in Russia is positively related to informal sociability, and does not affect generalized trust and community organizational life. It is concluded that Putnam’s hypothesis does not have universal validity, presumably because the link between diversity and social capital is moderated by various regional and national characteristics.
This article, based on the findings of a number of nationwide surveys conducted in 1999-2016, provides an analysis of the features and dynamics of a model of income stratification and its perception in Russian society. It is shown that the existing model of income stratification is marked by the dominance of middle strata and is fairly accurately reflected in popular consciousness judging from people’s perception of their position in society. The economic crisis that started in 2014 has not so far brought any serious changes to the model of income stratification or the perception by Russians of their place in society. As for the methodological as distinct from substantive conclusions, the article shows that the methods of building income stratification models for Russia should be looked for among relative methods used in developed countries and not absolute methods used in developing countries. Besides, considering regional disparities in terms of progress of modernization, in analyzing the social structure of Russian society it makes sense to use aggregate models of income stratification based on prior stratification of regional communities rather than models based on average nationwide indicators.
In the later decade Russia continued progress in terms of economic growth and lowering poverty. Yet Russia was much less successful in reducing inequality which skyrocketed after the market liberalization reforms in the early 1990s. Currently inequality in Russia has stabilized at the level which is significantly above the OECD average: the average Gini coefficient for the OECD countries in 2014 was 0.318, while it was 0.416 in Russia. Current macroeconomic environment with continuous recession, which started in 2014 and massive terms of trade shock due to collapse of oil prices, threatens to reverse Russia’s substantial achievements in terms of raising incomes of the population and reducing poverty. This chapter aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of income and wealth inequality in Russia and the impact of the current crisis. The focus throughout the chapter is on the national distribution of income and wealth. In market economies income and wealth serve as good predictors of well-being in other domains, such as social inclusion, education, health, etc.
The study explores the so-called ‘Kyrgyz clinics’ and their place in the migrant infrastructure of Moscow, Russia. We focus on the unique status of these clinics specifically aimed at and tailored for the migrants’ medical and psychosocial needs. We have found that the role of Kyrgyz clinics is not limited to the provision of affordable medical services. It is a milieu where the migrant patients come with their problems to migrant doctors, and where they can use their native language and cultural code to talk about their health problems. In particular, Kyrgyz doctors at such clinics play the role of intermediaries between migrants and other medical institutions of Moscow, as migrants often lack information about budget healthcare services in Moscow. We also briefly outline how migrants use informal strategies and networks to overcome the barriers to receiving medical care.
This article explores the impact of social and spatial structure of Moscow on the patterns of settlement of labour migrants. It emphasizes the ways in which the structure of post-Soviet urban environment differs from the European and U.S. ones, and uses interviews with guest workers from Central Asia to map out the barriers encountered today by migrants looking for housing, as well as the strategies they employ in their search for accommodation in Moscow. Special attention is paid to the role played by ethnic networks in the lives of migrant workers, and the ways in which these networks are configured by the urban space. The article demonstrates how the absence of spatial segregation in the post-Soviet city, inherited from the Soviet period, affects the trajectories of social and economic integration of migrants and explains the absence of ‘ethnic areas’ in today’s Moscow.
Western Siberia and the entire Arctic region have been a beacon for migrants from the European part of Russia, from the national republics and the southern regions of Siberia in the post-war era. In contrast with the other regions of Siberia, the oil- and gas-rich North remains a magnet for migration from the entire former Soviet Union to this day. This paper presents research into the contemporary socio-cultural environment of Yar-Sale, the administrative centre of the Yamal district of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The research focuses on the migrational experiences of ‘new’ migrants and their relations with the native Nenets population. Special attention is paid to concepts such as ‘local’/‘immigrant’, and ‘insider’/‘outsider’. The author holds that the boundaries between these categories are flexible. An immigrant may become a local and an insider may become an outsider, with ethnicity far from always being the deciding factor.
This paper suggests a new and comprehensive approach to the assessment of the material well-being at the individual level by constructing a multidimensional index. Using this approach, material well-being is understood as a generic notion that covers a number of different domains, whereas the concept of domain is used to distinguish between different aspects of people’s resources, including income security, basic needs, durables, housing and subjective material well-being. Each dimension is measured independently, using the best indicators available, to generate a score or domain index for each aspect of material well-being. The procedure of re-weighting the indicators within the separate domains enables us to account for the disparity in resources and consumer preferences across different population subgroups. The final domain scores, combined with explicit weighting, are then used to generate a summary material well-being index. The domain indices and the summary material well-being index are validated by exploring their relationships to key socio-economic attributes, which were previously shown to be strongly associated with individual material well-being. The results showed that the summary indices of material well-being are characterized by greater differentiation in relation to such measures, as occupational class and judgments of satisfaction with one's life. This allows us to conclude that our summary indices capture the latent concept of material well-being better than any of our domain indices used separately. Although the index is constructed using the Russian Gender and Generation Survey data for 2007, the methodological approach that we applied can be easily replicated in other surveys which contain information on several aspects of material well-being.
A period of qualitative changes in Russia has led to the transformation of many social aspects, including the social structure. Unsurprisingly, its specific features and certain social groups and strata are of particular interest at the moment. Both the scientific community and the general public are traditionally interested in the social entity of middle class. The term “middle class”, however, does not have a universal definition. Its meaning has been changing along with the social development and social structure transformations, depending on the historical context of a society. Moreover, several conceptually different approaches to identifying the middle class were emerging separately (due to the fact that middle class analysis was based on different goals and objectives that required different methodologies). In Russia, there is ongoing theoretical debate over the necessary and sufficient conditions for classifying an individual or a household as middle-class. Arguments for existence of the middle class in the country are quite often completely different as a result of diverse approaches and respective criteria, as well as the chosen thresholds, for identifying the sought-for middle class. Differences in the methodology of middle class identification lead to a considerable spread in the estimates of its share, from 2-3% to at least half of the population. Chapter presents different approaches to middle class definition, brief history of middle class studies in Russia and main results concerning specifics of Russian middle class from different research studies.
Over the last fifteen years, the ethnic make-up of Moscow's mosques has undergone significant change, while the number of practicing Muslims has grown manifold. These quantitative changes are connected with both the internal migration of people from the North Caucasian republics (a migration that had already begun in the early 1990s) and the external migration of natives of Central Asian states, primarily Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kirgizia (a mass migration dating from the 2000s). This paper is dedicated to two phenomena of contemporary Moscow Muslim life - the loud zikr (dhikr) of the Kunta Hajji wird of the Qadiri tariqah, practiced by Chechens and Ingush; and the religious practices of the Central Asian "uninstitutionalized" mullahs. Both spiritual practices are popular and have great significance for a considerable proportion of Moscow Muslims, including those who do not directly participate in them. What both practices have in common is also found in their marginal nature with regard both to institutionalized Moscow Islam and to the Wahhabi trend which is now gathering steam here. This is an attempt to identify some specific features of contemporary Moscow Islam through the analysis of certain practices.
Over the last fifteen years, the ethnic make-up of Moscow’s mosques has undergone significant change, while the number of practising Muslims has grown several tens of times. These quantitative changes are connected with both the internal migration of people from the North Caucasian republics (a migration that had already begun in the early 1990s) and the external migration of natives of Central Asian states, primarily Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kirgizia (a mass migration dating from the 2000s). This paper is dedicated to two phenomena of contemporary Moscow Muslim life – the loud zikr (dhikr) of the Kunta Haji wird of the Qadiri tariqah, practised by Chechens and Ingush; and the religious practices of the Central Asian “uninstitutionalised” mullahs. Both spiritual practices are popular and have great significance for a considerable proportion of Moscow Muslims, including for those who do not directly participate in them. What both practices have in common is also found in their marginal nature with regard both to institutionalised Moscow Islam and to the Wahhabist trend which is now gathering steam here. This is an attempt to identify some specific features of contemporary Moscow Islam through the analysis of certain practices.
What factors best explain the low incidence of skills training in a late industrial society like Russia? This research undertakes a multilevel analysis of the role of occupational structure against the probability of training. The explanatory power of occupation-specific determinants and skills polarisation are evaluated, using a representative 2012 sample from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey. Applying a two-level Bayesian logistic regression model, we show that the incidence of training in Russia is significantly contextualised within the structure of occupations and the inequalities between them. The study shows that extremely high wage gaps within managerial class jobs can discourage training, an unusual finding. Markets accumulating interchangeable and disposable labour best explain the low incidence of training; workers within generic labour are less likely to develop their skills formally, except in urban markets. Although we did not find strong evidence of skills polarisation, Russians are yet to live in a knowledge economy.
The 3rd Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey of Higher School of Economics (RLMS-HSE) User Conference, held May 19–20, 2017, at the National Research University Higher School of Economics with the support of Research Center Demoscope, Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, aimed to provide a forum for the discussion of the research projects based on RLMS-HSE. It brought together nearly one hundred scholars from Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, whose scientific interests spanned various fields of economics, demography, sociology, political sciences, public health, and psychology. The papers, presented at the plenary and parallel sessions, discussed multiple research problems pertaining to labor market and wages, education, retirement, health, ethnicity, migration, and subjective well-being and attitudes. Although an overwhelming majority of the research topics had been recurring themes at the RLMS-HSE events since the inception of the project, the papers did not fail to demonstrate the wealth of opportunities the RLMS-HSE data had to offer. What set this conference apart from previous ones was a pronounced interest in those sections of the RLMS-HSE data that contain detailed information about health. The sessions on this matter included many fruitful discussions concerning objective indicators of health status, a healthy lifestyle, and the use of healthcare services.