Denisova I. A., Kartseva M. A. Gender poverty gap in Russia: absolute vs. multidimensional concepts, pp. 138-155

Poverty is rather high in contemporary Russia: every eighth Russian was poor according to the official statistics in 2018. Fighting poverty is among the top strategic development goals
for the period till 2024. The paper studies gender disparities in poverty among Russian adults. Better understanding of gender structure of poverty in Russia would facilitate poverty reduction via better targeting and better tailoring of policy instruments. We utilize micro data of the Survey of income and social program participation by Rosstat as of 2017 for our statistical analysis. Two alternative poverty concepts are used: absolute income poverty (the official methodology of poverty measurement in Russia) and poverty risk and social exclusion index (the key component of poverty monitoring indicator in the EU). The latter index is a composition of relative poverty and deprivation poverty measures. Our results indicate that, on average, there is no gender poverty gap in Russia when absolute poverty concept is used: poverty rates among males and females are the same on average. Hence, we find no statistical support to the widely used by the media thesis of poverty feminization in Russia. Absolute poverty rate, however, is found to vary significantly across different gender-age groups: absolute income poverty among females is higher than among males in young and senior ages, while males are poorer in mid-age groups. When multiple criteria definition of poverty and social exclusion (AROPE) is applied, we find clear signs of feminization of poverty in Russia. Multidimensional poverty is much higher among females, and this is observed in all age groups. The highest gender poverty gap is observed in senior ages. The age-gender poverty structure changes dramatically when we move from absolute poverty concept to the multidimensional one: we observe higher share of females in poverty, and higher share of senior people in poverty. The key determinants of higher multidimensional poverty of females is their relatively (to males) lower wages, and relatively lower pensions.
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