Author(s): Natalia Sadovnikova, Olga Lebedinskaya, Alexander Bezrukov, Leysan Davletshina
One of the most important goals of harmonious and sustainable development of the world within the framework of the UN program “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” is to reduce cross-country income inequality, promote social and economic integration (Goal 10). The diversity of concepts for measuring poverty and economic inequality has made it difficult to compare methodologically rigorous countries that use absolute (Russia) and relative (European countries) monetary concepts of poverty. Given that economic inequality is a multidimensional concept and includes, in addition to unequal income, unequal access to health care, education, housing, the labor market, and even inequality before the law, the authors suggested that a comprehensive assessment of the differentiation of countries can be obtained using cluster analysis. The results of clustering of 36 member countries of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Russia on 16 key indicators combined into four blocks (socio-demographic situation, demographic characteristics of the population, labor force, and standard of living), presented by the authors, allowed identifying enlarged groups of countries that characterize cross-country inequality. To ensure the comparability of the data, the k-medoid algorithm was used to minimize the total degree of differences between objects belonging to a particular cluster. It was found in the course of the study that there is a close relationship between the parameters of the socio-demographic situation and the territorial neighborhood, the general history of development.