Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Birkelund Board Room
This seminar will be presented by Thomas Remington, Professor, Emory University.
The collapse of the planned economy dismantled much of the old socialist social contract in Russia and other former communist countries. These societies face the difficult challenge of creating a new and market-friendly set of institutions balancing social risk and reward, financing public goods, and protecting vulnerable strata. Rising economic inequality exacerbates the political contentiousness of these tasks, as the polemics over "Obamacare" in the US illustrate. Russia's level of inequality is equivalent to that of the United States, but its regime makes decisions over social policy in an authoritarian, bureaucratized framework. How does inequality affect Russia's effort to construct a new social contract that preserves social stability, promotes growth, and permits long-term financial sustainability?