Imperatives of Social Policy in Times of Crisis

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-2-98-112
E. Sadovaya, Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (
I. Tsapenko, Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The crisis affecting Russia provokes risks of rising unemployment, reducing real incomes, growing poverty, worsening demographic situation and other negative social trends. It accentuates acute structural problems challenging future human development, threatening with social and economic degradation of Russia. Workforce employment structure by economic activity and occupation lacks economic efficiency and social reasonability. Poor state of labor protection results in high incidence of work accidents. Obsolete labor regulations prevent the employment adjustment to reindustrialization shocks. Huge and unfair gaps in workers remuneration by economic activity, region and occupation cause high income inequality. Low level of remuneration in many economic activities, including those contributing to modernization of economy, leads to high working poverty and low attractiveness of innovative sectors to workers. Persistent low fertility, high mortality and low life-spam engender unsupportable demographic development and risks of restarting depopulation. Uncontrolled immigration of unqualified workforce from developing Asian countries is a source of growing social, ethno-cultural and political tensions. There are risks of growing emigration and turning flows of adaptive migrants away from Russia to EU. Structural and institutional reforms are to be realized to counteract these problems and risks and overcome crisis. Such measures are to get over the unjustified unbalances in employment and remuneration distribution, to form new competences and professional attitudes and raise stability of demographic development, supply of labor resources and boost their productivity. These changes may create social premises for transition to economic growth of new quality based on frontier technologies, wide innovations and high human development. At the same time high-tech economy development poses challenges of high unemployment, and labor market policies are to maintain balance between the needs of conserving stable employment and realizing economic transformations. Solution of many acute national problems should be based of complex approach, supposing package type of measures and simultaneity of social and economic reforms. 

Keywords: social policy, Russia, economic crisis, risks, structural problems, employment, remuneration of workers, demographic situation, social reforms, innovation economy


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For citation:
Sadovaya E., Tsapenko I. Imperatives of Social Policy in Times of Crisis. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2016, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 98-112.

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