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Middle-aged Russians whose younger years fell in the era of change fear for their future and tend to save more money than they spend. In contrast, Russia's elderly and young adults are avid consumers: the former have survived hardship and scarcity – potential loss does not scare them, while the latter share the inherent optimism of youth, according to the paper 'Consumer Expectations of the Russian Public (1996-2009): Interconnections across Cohorts, Generations, and Ages' by Dilyara Ibragimova, Senior Researcher at the HSE's Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology.
The average Russian family lives on their salaries and pensions and only takes loans in exceptional cases. The vast majority of Russians are in fact millionaires, since almost every family owns their residence, while a third of all households also own other property, usually a 'dacha', i.e. a summer house. Thus, the combined value of assets owned by a typical Russian family exceeds that of many Europeans, according to the Russian Survey of Consumer Finance.
Migrant workers in the CIS are vulnerable in terms of pension rights. The recipient country does not expect to care for them in old age, while the country of origin does not count the years worked abroad towards their retirement plan. Portable pensions may offer a solution, according to researchers of the HSE's Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (St. Petersburg) involved in the study Pension Mobility within the Eurasian Economic Union and the CIS.
Sanctions and the decline of the ruble have caused inflation rates in Russia to exceed the Ministry of Economic Development's official projection and to hit a three-year maximum. Furter weakening of the ruble will lead to the continued growth of annual inflation, according to the HSE's New Comments on the State and Business.
Not all consumers want to buy things at a discount. Many people prefer expensive stores to discounters since the purchase price of a good can demonstrate that the buyer belongs to a particular social group or to a particular community of buyers, Elena Berdysheva, a Senior Research Fellow in HSE’s Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology, said in the paper ‘What Do We Know about Consumers’ Price Perception? Research Findings of Studies in Sociology and Marketing Science’.
Russia will face a budget deficit in 2015-2017; the country’s expenditure on defense and public administration will grow, while the spending on education, health care, and social services will be cut, according to expert analysis published in the recent issue of the HSE’s New Comments on the State and Business.
Married men and women, on average, earn more than single individuals. But while for men getting divorced means a drop in earnings, the opposite is true for women – they achieve higher earnings after divorce and remarriage, according to a study by Lilia Rodionova, presented at the Tenth International Conference on Applying Multivariate Statistical Analysis to Economics and Quality Assessment hosted by the HSE.
Even considering an 8.5% increase in wages, regional budgets will not be able to avoid a deficit for 2014. The federal centre will have to find additional funds to pay for Russian federal subjects’ spending or else the subjects will be forced to increase debt, experts from the HSE Centre of Development Institute said in the latest issue of New Comments on the State and Business.
Russian statistics are scarce, inaccurate, ormissing – and therefore misleading, rather than helpful. Their limited temporal depth makes any reliable long-term projections of the country's socio-economic development impossible, according to the report 'Russian Statistics: What Do They Preserve for History?' by Vladimir Bessonov, Head of the HSE’s Laboratory for Research in Inflation and Growth.
A drop in food prices, particularly fruit and vegetable prices, usually observed in summer, and an improved situation in the commodity markets have helped slow down the rate of inflation, according to expert analysis in Comments on State and Business published by the HSE's Centre for Development.