Inequality and Social Structure During the Transition
Social structures undergo transformation with the transition to a market economy. This collection examines the role of inequality in the formation of economic elites and middle classes, as well as in the rise of poverty in transitional societies. Based on comparative analysis of social stratification, the contributors argue that the slowly reforming economies of the CIS had particularly high inequality and social polarization. Central Europe's transition countries have shown smaller increases in inequality. Many professional workers there have successfully entered the market economy. In contrast, a wealthy elite has emerged in Russia and other CIS countries amidst impoverishment and deprivation of a large part of the population. The book concludes with policy recommendation for social integration and social cohesion through investment in human capital and more effective public transfers.