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Sokolov D.

Expansion of the Middle Class Proportion as the Basis for Increase in Efficiency of Russian Economy

Keywords: middle class, level of income, classes, strata, per capita income, domestic production

The middle class is the basis for effective functioning of any state’s market economy. The concept "the middle class" was introduced into circulation by the antique philosopher Aristotle. It was further developed in Europe in 17th–18th centuries, but it was finally formed only in the 20th century. Out of a set of existing approaches the Marxist theory and the theory of stratification gained the greatest spread. Modern development of the middle class is guided by the stratification theory which distinguishes several approaches to the middle class definition: the level of material well-being, a resource approach, a subjective approach and a combined approach. The concept of the middle class as set of social groups (strata) having steady income providing a worthy standard of living at the national level is as a result specified. Each country defines criteria of referring the population to the middle class independently, but the main criterion is considered to be the income level. For example, in a number of countries the middle class is subdivided into three subclasses: top, middle and the lowest. In developed countries the proportion of the middle class is great enough unlike Russia – 4,1%. It is established that the gap between the middle class and the lower part of the population in developed countries is insignificant by contrast with Russia where it is characterized by repeated differentiation. It is defined that the structure of the middle class in Russia significantly differs from that in developed countries. The factors preventing the middle class to form during the Post-Soviet period are revealed. It is established that increase in the proportion of the middle class directly depends on the level of national production. As a result, the author establishes interdependency interrelationship between the increase in the middle class proportion and expansion of national production scales for both final and intermediate products.


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About authors

Sokolov Dmitry
candidate of economics, economic theory and international economic relations department associate professor, Chuvash State University, Russia, Cheboksary (; )

Article link

Sokolov D. Expansion of the Middle Class Proportion as the Basis for Increase in Efficiency of Russian Economy [Electronic resource] // Oeconomia et Jus. – 2019. – №2. P. 28-34. – URL: