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SPP 240

Author: Richard Rose, CSPP
Description: The absence of a stable currency in the Ukraine places households under great pressure to adapt to make ends meet or be resilient, recovering if forced into difficulties. If neither is done, a household is threatened with destitution. This paper presents empirical survey evidence showing that the great majority of Ukrainians do not earn enough from their regular job to maintain themselves and one-third in the labour force are unemployed and/or unpaid at some point during the year. Nonetheless, the majority are able to get by without borrowing money or spending savings, thanks to unofficial and domestic economic activities. Nine-tenths of Ukrainian households do without food, clothing or heating at some point in the year--but few often do without these necessities. In response to difficulties, households temporarily tighten their belts, stretch out their resources, mend and make do. Half succeed in adapting, rarely doing without; one-third are resilient, getting out as well as into difficulties; and only one in six families is destitute, regularly doing without. Targeting households in intermittent difficulties should be a high policy priority. Benefits paid quickly, flexibly and for a limited duration can help the resilient. The more volatile the macro-economy and the more resilient and adaptable the population, the greater the need for prompt, targeted data about micro-economic change.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland