Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center

Russians Do Not Like to Make Plans and Prefer to Believe in a Brighter Future, According to The Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center

In Russia, norms and values ​​play a big role in the idea of ​​inequality. This is a conclusion made by scientists in the ninth scientific digest “The idea of ​​Russians About Income Inequality: Does Social Mobility Affect Them?” The issue was prepared by The Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center.

In Russia, when talking about the redistribution and conflict between the rich and the poor, even a population that is relatively well-off by general standards does not consider itself and its isolation from the rest of the mass strata. It does not matter how the individual himself and others move through social position, as it does not change the acutely perceived separation of the top from the rest of the population, according to the authors of the digest (Svetlana Mareeva, Ekaterina Slobodenyuk and Vasily Anikin).

At the same time, most Russians do not plan their lives even in the medium term. According to ISSP*, only 5% of the population has at least some plans for 5-10 years, not to mention longer periods. Half of the population is generally convinced that it is basically impossible to plan their life even 1-2 years ahead.

Despite the pessimistic assessment of the immediate prospects, Russians tend to believe in the best. However, in the distant future. Thus, in 2019, expectations of a worsening of their own financial situation in the next twelve months prevailed (half of Russians thought so). On the other hand, expectations of changes in the medium term were quite positive at the time of the survey in 2019. Almost two-thirds of Russians believed that in ten years they would live no worse, one in four believed that his position in society would even increase.

The general income inequality in the country is estimated by the population as high. If we look at the total share of those who consider income inequality high, albeit with varying degrees of confidence in this (that is, they absolutely and rather agree with such a statement), three of the fifteen countries in the sample are in the first place - Italy, Thailand and Croatia (data for perceptions of income inequality and the role of the state in reducing it, ISSP, 2019). Russia shares 4-5 positions with Germany.

At the same time, compared with the 1990s, the acuteness of the feeling of conflict between the poor and the rich has decreased, according to the scientists So, in 1999, 93% of Russians said that the differences in income are large, in 2009 - 91.6%, in 2019 - 90.6% (data on the dynamics of the perception of income inequality in the public consciousness of Russians, ISSP, 1992-2019).

NCMU Scientific Digest Project managed by Olga Voron.

Digest No. 9 is available at the link (RU).

*ISSP - International Social Survey Program (eng. International Social Survey Program) - an international annual monitoring study on issues important to the social sciences.