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SPP 266

Author: Professor Richard Rose and Marina Krassilnikova
Description: The relation between income and ownership of consumer durables is problematic, because income can fluctuate substantially in the short term, whereas consumer durables have a long life. This is particularly important in Russia, as economic transformation from a command to a market economy destabilizes purchasing power and the flow of income. This paper first discusses the empirical measurement of consumer durables and household income in Russia, analyzing nationwide sample surveys conducted by VCIOM. It considers a variety of potential influences on ownership of consumer durables, starting with a simple mono-causal explanation: ownership of goods is determined by income. Alternative models are tested with multiple regression: income is significant but inadequate as an explanation of accumulated wealth of consumer durables. A variety of modern and "non-modern" social, political and economic factors influence ownership of consumer durables too. An appendix describes in detail the construction of the index of consumer durables.

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