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Distribution of Incomes in Eastern Europe

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
For more content, see Comparative Sociology.

The data from national surveys carried out in six East European countries are employed to reveal patterns of distribution of incomes. The underlying assumption is that rules of distribution represent different stages of an exit from the command economy as well as advancement on their way to the market systems. Using the OLS regression models of incomes I attempt to determine which countries are where on the scale of the systemic transition. I refer to the three sets of determinants of incomes, which serve as reference points in searching for signs of transition, namely to: (i) variables affecting incomes in most universal way like family background, sex, place of residence and experience in the labour force, (ii) institutionally ingrained in the command economy sectoral and industrial divisions, and (iii) meritocratic rules of distribution, most representative of the market systems. The results show that there are three leading countries on the path to the market economy, i.e., Hungary, Czech Republic, and Poland. Russia locates on the opposite pole as most deeply ingrained in the communist past.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 00-330 Warsaw, Nowy Swiat 72, Poland


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