Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center

Work Quality, Subjective Perception of Income Difference and Gender Gap. Scientists from the HSE and RANEPA Discussed the Methods of Studying Inequality

On April 5, 2022 the Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center held a round table on Social and Economic Inequality and Current Research Agenda at the XXIII Yasin (April) International Scientific Conference on the Problems of Economic and Social Development. It was held in an online format in Russian and English languages with simultaneous translation. The event was organized within the framework of a research grant funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (grant ID: 075-15-2020-928).

The participants discussed how to study inequality, what research issues are key, what grounds, manifestations and consequences of inequality should be paid special attention to, what the coronavirus pandemic has changed, what new approaches foreign scientists use to study this problem and how their experience can be applied in our country.

Svetlana Mareeva, Vasily Anikin, Maria Nagirnyak, Natalia Voronina and Elena Agadullina (HSE), as well as Tatiana Maleva (RANEPA) attended the event. Professor Louis Chavel  (University of Luxembourg) moderated the discussion.

Vasily Anikin, Senior Researcher at the HSE Institute for Social Policy, presented the report Quality of Workplaces: Conceptual and Methodological Issues. The researcher spoke about the problem of inequality of ‘good’ (high-paid, stable, with high autonomy) and ‘bad’ jobs (low-paid, with no opportunities for career growth, with high risks of dismissal and low social protection). The expert identified methodological issues of measuring the quality of jobs and proposed a conceptual basis for its Russian index.

Tatiana Maleva, Director of the Institute for Social Analysis and Forecasting in RANEPA, spoke about the relationship between objective income inequality and its subjective perception. It turned out that over the decade from 2006 to 2016, the demands of Russians to reduce income inequality decreased. Low-income Russians and people of older age groups expect a reduction in inequality to a greater extent from the state, and citizens with higher education are more tolerant of it.

Maria Nagirnyak, Deputy Vice Rector of the Higher School of Economics, and Natalia Voronina, an analyst at the Institute for Social Policy of the Higher School of Economics, presented the report devoted to gender inequality in unpaid work in Russia. Based on Rosstat research data, the authors identified a difference in the employment of men and women in the field of domestic work and care for family members. The speakers also talked about the factors that contribute to the increase and decrease of this gap.

Elena Agadullina, Head of the Scientific and Educational Laboratory for the Psychology of Social Inequality, stressed the need to discuss not only the measurement of inequality, but also the possibilities of its regulation. She also once again drew attention to the importance of people's perception of inequality.

Professor Louis Chavel summed up the discussion, drawing attention to the fact that inequality continues to be a serious challenge for development and emphasized the need for collaboration of scientists from different fields.