Inequality and social stratification in Russia during the Putin regime: From market transition to war on Ukraine. By: Gerber, Theodore P. and Gimpelson, Vladimir. 2024. Sociology Compass. Vol. 18 Issue 3, p1-17.

The collapse of the USSR in late 1991 inspired social science research on levels, patterns, and trends in inequality within Russia, due to theoretical interest in how market transition affects social stratification. The start of the Putin regime in 2000 marked a new era in Russia’s post‐Soviet political economic trajectory: in contrast to the 1990s, the economy first took off, then stagnated, while the state rolled back institutions of democracy and civic freedoms. In short, Russia became a consolidated market economy under authoritarian rule. In this context research has continued to produce insights into social stratification. The labor market featured high levels of employment but with downward wage flexibility, modest decreases in earnings inequality, and persistent returns to education, gender wage gaps, and locality‐based differences. Waves of labor migration to Russia, resurgent traditional gender norms, shrinking population, housing inequality, health disparities, and a small contingent of ultra‐rich represent additional noteworthy developments. Although market transition is no longer an intriguing theoretical lens through which to view social stratification inRussia, the topic nonetheless holds broader theoretical interest because inequality became closely intertwined with Russia’s political economy, social policies, and geopolitical actions, including those that culminated in Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.