Measuring the Middle Class in Kazakhstan: A Subjective Approach

28 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2018 Last revised: 29 Aug 2018

Date Written: August 27, 2018


This paper proposes a model-based approach to estimate income boundaries for identifying the middle class in Kazakhstan over 2003-15. The approach exploits the subjective evaluation of Kazakhstan households about their social status, relating self-declared social class membership to income. Income data come from the Kazakhstan Household Budget Survey, which also includes a specific module on quality of life and perceived social status. As social status is intrinsically an ordinal response, the paper estimates a proportional odds model with income as the key explanatory variable. Although other factors influence the self-perception of being in the middle class, income is by far the most important determinant. Benchmarking on 2013, the estimated middle class lower bound is $14 at 2011 purchasing power parity and the upper bound is $52. The Kazakhstan middle class has increased massively in size and income concentration. The increase is essentially due to a growth effect rather than a redistributive cause.

Keywords: Inequality, Health Care Services Industry, Educational Sciences, Poverty Reduction Strategies, Economic Growth, Industrial Economics, Economic Theory & Research

Suggested Citation

Pittau, Maria Grazia and Zelli, Roberto, Measuring the Middle Class in Kazakhstan: A Subjective Approach (August 27, 2018). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8568. Available at SSRN:

Maria Grazia Pittau (Contact Author)

University of Rome I ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Rome, 00185

Roberto Zelli

University of Rome I ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5
Rome, 00185

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics