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Trends in inter-city inequalities in level of living in Russia

Bufetova, Anna
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
55th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "World Renaissance: Changing roles for people and places", 25-28 August 2015, Lisbon, Portugal
At the turn of XX-XXI centuries new trends emerged in the development of Russian cities which were closely related to changes in the institutional and socio-economic conditions in a transition economy. One of the most prominent phenomena in the post-Soviet urbanization processes is growth of inequality in the level of economic and social development of cities. Deepening of social and economic disparities between cities in the transition period has led to the fact that the level of inter-city inequality is significantly higher than disparities between subjects of the Russian Federation. Most studies of spatial disparities in levels of living in Russia refer to the period of the 1990s and concern the interregional inequalities. Inequality of levels of living between cities is much less explored. In our study we consider the results of the uneven development of Russian cities, trends in convergence or divergence of level of living between cities of different size, specialization and status. We study the dynamics of inter-city disparities for a number of characteristics of level of living. The study is fulfilled on the basis of data provided by FSSS of the RF for the period of 2001-2013 ãã. and covers about 170 cities of the RF with population over 100,000. In this work we attempt to assess the degree of inequality in level of living between cities both on the basis of separate social indices and synthetic integral indicator of level of living. Constructed synthetic indicator of level of living allows to classify cities according to level of living and to evaluate convergence trends between cities, between and within their groups. We obtain evidence for slight mitigation of inter-city inequality of level of living in the beginning of XXI. But between considered set of cities we observe groups that characterized by different dynamics of level of living. Analyzing these groups we identify factors that determine the spatial trends in inequality in levels of living. In addition to the analysis of primary data, we summarized secondary sources and works on the topic, official documents and analytical reports. On this basis we discuss the role of different factors that determine inequality in level of living between Russian cities (objective and subjective which refer to implemented socio-economic policy) and make forecast of inter-city convergence trends in level of living.
Level of living
city size
regional capitals
Document Type: 
Conference Paper

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