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Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich CountriesThirty Countries' Experiences$
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Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth, and Herman G. van de Werfhorst

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687428

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687428.001.0001

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High Rising Inequality Over Two Decades of Post-Communist Transformation*

(p.541) Chapter 23 Romania
Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries

Iuliana Precupetu

Marius Precupetu

Oxford University Press

The slow and painful path of transition from communism to an independent market-led economy resulted in big increases in inequality and poverty in Romania. The country changed from being one of the lowest inequality countries in 1990 (similar to Sweden) to one of the most unequal by 2007. Romania is characterized by a sizeable subsistence agricultural sector which conceals a large group of unemployed people but makes a significant contribution to own consumption and protects many households from poverty. All of this has taken its toll on the Romanian population with comparatively poor levels of health, social capital, life satisfaction, and trust. The Roma population is particularly disadvantaged. Participation in elections is declining and the large majority of Romanians think that inequality is too high and the government should ensure a fair distribution.

Keywords:   income inequality, drivers of inequality, education, health, Romania, transition, subsistence agriculture, poverty, political participation, Roma population

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