The problem of inequality in recent years has become one of the most urgent topics in Lithuania. Nothing strange in this, since according to various indicators of inequality the country is at the bottom of the list in Europe, for example, in wealth worse than Lithuania only Serbia.
According to experts, on income inequality to say easiest, because it objectively counted, and the resulting data can be compared with those of other countries. “Income is cash flow for a certain time, usually the income for the year, for a month. Consider the income per family member. They take into account the after tax payment, income is considered not only salary, but also social benefits, i.e. what people receive from the state,” said Professor WU Romas Lazutka.
Economist at Nordea Bank leader. said that income inequality is measured using two indicators. The first is the Gini coefficient, an indicator that ranges from 0 (absolute equality) to 100 (absolute inequality). According to the Gini coefficient, is worse than Lithuania in Europe only Serbia, inequality is even less in Bulgaria and Romania. But. notice that this coefficient has flaws. “He’s not really shows the difference between the richest and the poorest. It may be that the very rich few, but the curve gets distorted, because there is a large group with incomes of one thousand and a half thousand euros, then the coefficient will show great inequality, but this is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s a strong middle class,” said the economist.
Income inequality calculated according to indicator difficult, often do not have enough data for this. . Noted that the biggest problem arises when it is necessary to evaluate the available property. “What is property? Usually most of the property is the estate. Naturally, the property of the inhabitants of large cities are more expensive than the property of residents of small towns and villages. For example, in Vilnius, the house is worth 100 thousand euros and more, and in the New akmenė same can be bought for 10 — 15 thousand euros. Another point, how to estimate the remaining equipment. Well, if it’s Bank deposits, stocks, bonds. But there are other property: jewelry, art, cars,” — said..
Lazutka recognized that it would be interesting to compare data about the property of the inhabitants, but such estimates, unfortunately not. The West is trying to do, for example in the USA, where 1% of the richest people controls most of the property in the country. “If the government wants to reduce the inequality, more attention should be paid to the property inequality, because the state directly the property does not distribute, this is not acceptable. Redistribute income, so government policy is more important than income inequality, about this and know more,” said Lashutka.
Just to explain what social inequality is virtually impossible. According to Professor Lasocki, when the country people diskriminerad on national, racial, gender — this is social inequality. The Professor noticed that this question in Lithuania is also lack of research, so it is difficult to allocate. Speaking about social inequality, often referred to two of Lithuania — Vilnius and the rest of the country, they say that people have unequal opportunities. “But really this little know, a little exploring. You can say a city/village, but there are poor citizens, and prosperous people of the province. This is a gross allocation, we need more detailed data,” said Lashutka.
“Social inequality is the actual inequality, particularly in countries such as Lithuania. For example, if children grow up in Vilnius, they have the opportunity to study in the best schools, get a better education, thanks to the better education they have better opportunities when applying to University, then they can claim a bigger salary, etc. and living in the villages can not learn in good schools, not to go to University and then twisted negative circle. This is a new phenomenon in Lithuania, if you are born in a poor family or in a province, you more difficult to rise to a higher level than someone who was born in a big city, in the capital or in a rich family,” said..
The words of the economist confirms and Lazutka, according to which, he and his colleagues conducted a study on the accessibility of prestigious education in Lithuania, which showed that young people from wealthy families whose parents are well educated and occupy high positions often go for the best specialty. “We looked at who comes to medicine, law, Economics and psychology in Vilnius University. We see that prestigious programs were relatively more children from wealthy families. We can say that this social inequality. If the child is born in the province, in a poor family, his parents had little education, he can go to University, but it will not be a prestigious profession, then it will not be easy to find a job, and if find, the salary is lower,” — said the Professor.