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Sometimes, Winners Lose: Economic Disparity and Indigenization in Kazakhstan

Ira Gang () and Achim Schmillen

No 8464, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Several post-Soviet states have introduced policies to improve the relative economic, political or social position of formerly disadvantaged populations. Using one example of such policies – "Kazakhisation" in Kazakhstan – we investigate their impact on the comparative earnings of two directly affected groups, ethnic Russians and ethnic Kazakhs. Oaxaca decompositions show that Kazakhs are better endowed with income generating characteristics but receive lower returns to these characteristics than Russians. The second effect dominates and Kazakhs have comparatively lower average living standards. While "Kazakhisation" may have been successful in a narrow sense – i.e., by empowering Kazakhs to take on leading positions in the public sector – more broadly it has been a self-defeating policy as it has pushed ethnic Russians into jobs that often evolved into positions that (at least in monetary terms) are superior now to those held by Kazakhs.

Keywords: Kazakhstan; indigenization; decomposition; ethnicity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I32 O12 J15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30 pages
Date: 2014-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cis and nep-cwa
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Published in: Journal of Comparative Economics, 2017, 45(3), 605 621

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Related works:
Journal Article: Sometimes, winners lose: Economic disparity and indigenization in Kazakhstan (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Sometimes, Winners Lose: Economic Disparity and Indigenization in Kazakhstan (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Sometimes, Winners Lose: Economic Disparity and Indigenization in Kazakhstan (2014) Downloads
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