Subjective Inequality, Social Cohesion and Political Reforms: An Example of Russia
The hypothesis of influence of subjective inequality on life expectancy in the early years of Perestroika is supported by the fact that life expectancy changed simultaneously not only with the level of alcohol consumption, but also with the changes in public attitudes. Three stages of Perestroika corresponding to well-marked differences in some demographics are considered.
It is concluded that changes of the political climate could help to reduce subjective inequality and have a positive impact on social well-being, the level of social stress and, ultimately, on the health and life expectancy. But if the reduction of subjective inequality is not supported by decrease in objective measures of inequality, it could have only a short-term impact on health.