Is the Cost of Living in Russia Really that Low?
21 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2009
Date Written: December 14, 2008
There is a widespread opinion that goods, especially foods, and services in Russia are very cheap as compared to the US. A number of Russian statistical indicators characterizing the cost of living, either directly or indirectly, seemingly corroborate this opinion. This paper demonstrates that these indicators are biased, sufficiently understating the cost of living in Russia. A comparison of Russian actual prices for foods with those in the US evidences that they are comparable. Moreover, the Russian prices are tending to catch up with the US prices.
Keywords: food prices, cost of living, minimum wage, subsistence level, Russia, US
JEL Classification: I31, O57, P22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation