Branko Milanovic on the Russian economy

Branko Milanovic, Senior Fellow at the Stone Center on Inequality at the Graduate Center, was interviewed in Jacobin about how the legacy of the 1990s economic decline in Russia, which he witnessed firsthand while working there for the World Bank, has impacted where Russia is today.

“I would like to point out that an increase in inequality under conditions of huge decline in real incomes, is entirely different than having the same increase in inequality under conditions of growth … Between 1987 and 1993, Russian GDP, on the contrary, fell by about 40 percent.  Compare that to the US Great Depression, which saw about a 30 percent decline, from the peak to the trough. If you were in the lower part of the Russian income distribution, not only would you lose 40 percent of your income, but because inequality went against you, you would lose 60 or 70 percent.”