Differentiation in Russians’ Perception of Inequality and Their Dynamics

Differentiation in Russians’ Perception of Inequality and Their Dynamics

Salmina A.A.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Institute for Social Analysis and Forecasting, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Moscow, Russia salmina-aa@ranepa.ru

ID of the Article:

The article was written on the basis of the RANEPA state assignment research programme.

For citation:

Salmina A.A. Differentiation in Russians’ Perception of Inequality and Their Dynamics. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2023. No 6. P. 42-55


A number of recent inequality studies emphasize the importance of considering not only its objective characteristics, but also its subjective perception. This makes it especially relevant to study feasible determinants of attitudes towards inequality. In addition, the variability of attitudes towards inequality over time is of research interest. To what extent has the attitude towards inequality in Russia changed in recent years? And how different is the attitude of Russians towards inequality from the population of other countries? Accounting for the subjective aspects of inequality will make it possible to better understand social processes taking place in Russian society. In this paper, on the basis of the European Social Survey 2006–2016 data, the features of the subjective perception of inequality by Russians in various population groups and their dynamics were studied. Special attention is paid to the differentiation of views depending on the socio-demographic, income and other characteristics of the population.

inequality; attitudes to inequality; population; differentiation


Bussolo M. et al. (2018) Toward a new social contract: Taking on distributional tensions in Europe and Central Asia. The World Bank.

Bussolo M., Torre I., Ferrer-i-Carbonell A. (2019) I Perceive Therefore I Demand: The Formation of Inequality Perceptions and Demand for Redistribution. The World Bank.

Cochrane J. (2015) How and why we care about inequality. In: Inequality and Economic Policy: Essays in Honor of Gary Becker. Ed. by Church T., Miller C., Taylor J. Hoover Press: 147–180.

Engelhardt C., Wagener A. (2014) Biased Perceptions of Income Inequality and Redistribution. CESifo Working Paper Series. No. 4838: 1–21.

Gimpelson V., Monusova G. (2014) Perception of inequality and social mobility. Higher School of Economics Research Paper. No. WP BRP. Vol. 84.

Gimpelson V., Treisman D. (2018) Misperceiving inequality. Economics & Politics. Vol. 30. No. 1: 27–54.

Gorshkov M.K., Tikhonova N.E. et al. (2008) Social inequalities and social policy in modern Russia. Moscow: Nauka. (In Russ.)

Kapelyushnikov R.I. (2017) Inequality: how not to primitivize the problem. Voprosy ekonomiki [Questions of Economics]. No. 4: 117–139. (In Russ.)

Kapelyushnikov R.I. (2019) Economic inequality – universal evil? Voprosy ekonomiki [Questions of Economics]. No. 4: 91–106. (In Russ.)

Mareeva S.V. (2018) Social inequalities and the social structure of modern Russia in the perception of the population. Vestnik instituta sotziologii [Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology]. Vol. 9. No. 3: 101–120. DOI: 10.19181/vis.2018.26.3.527. (In Russ.)

Mareeva S.V., Tikhonova N.E. (2016) Poverty and social inequalities in Russia in the public mind. Mir Rossii. Sociologiya. Etnologiya [Universe of Russia. Sociology. Ethnology]. Vol. 25. No. 2: 37–67. (In Russ.)

McCloskey D.N. (2014) Measured, unmeasured, mismeasured, and unjustified pessimism: a review essay of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the twenty-first century. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics. Vol. 7. No. 2: 73–115.

Monusova G.A. (2016) What determines the perception of inequality in incomes. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [World Economy and International Relations]. Vol. 60. No. 1: 53–67. (In Russ.)

Monusova G.A. (2017) Attitude to the redistribution of income and social mobility. Ekonomicheskaya sociologiya [Economic sociology]. Vol. 18. No. 5: 14–39. (In Russ.)

Salmina A.A. (2012) Attitude of the population to social inequality: Russia in comparison with other European countries. In: XIII International scientific conference on the problems of economic and social development. In 4 books. Book 3. Moscow: NIU VSHE: 87–95. (In Russ.)

Salmina A.A. (2017) Russians’ request for inequality reduction and factors of its formation in comparison with other European countries. Vlast’ [Power]. No. 2: 27–37. (In Russ.)

Shkaratan O.I. (2009) Socio-economic inequality and its reproduction in modern Russia. Moscow: OLMA Media Group. (In Russ.)

Tikhonova N.E. (2006) Optimal model of social policy in mass representations. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 12: 9–15. (In Russ.)

Content No 6, 2023