Encouraging entrepreneurship, providing social support services and helping people find jobs are all part of a new ‘social contract’ programme introduced across Russia to assist poor families in becoming financially self-sufficient. Using formal contracts to encourage low-income people to engage in economic activity is proving to be more effective than welfare handouts, according to researchers of the HSE Centre for Studies of Income and Living Standards.
Maternity capital has supported numerous families in regions across the country, helping people solve their housing problems. At the same time, many people have not accessed these funds, as the programme is quite limited. Maternity capital is not very useful when buying an apartment in the city, as it does not go very far, and two other options for using it – towards children’s education or the mother’s pension – are longer-term issues, noted Elena Gorina, Senior Research Fellow at the HSE’s Institute for Social Development Studies/Center for Studies of Income and Living Standards, during the XVI April International Academic Conference at HSE.
Economic inequality between the Russian regions will manifest itself clearly in the context of the current crisis. While the 2009 crisis passed almost painlessly for regional budgets, the situation today is quite different. The regions will be forced to look for anti-crisis strategies in the context of continuously decreasing oil revenues, said Natalia Zubarevich, Leading Research Fellow at the HSE Centre for Studies of Income and Living Standards, in her presentation on ‘Crises in Russia: Regional Perspective’ as part of the XVI HSE April International Academic Conference.
Generally in Russia, being childless is an involuntary situation associated with infertility, age, and being single. However, being childless in Moscow is often a deliberate decision. Aside from a biological inability to bear children, childlessness in Moscow is likely to be associated with higher levels of education, income security, the structure of the family of origin, and certain attitudes, i.e. that having children is not necessary for happiness, according to Svetlana Biryukova, Research Fellow of the HSE's Centre for Studies of Income and Living Standards.