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The Educated Russian's Curse: Returns to Education in the Russian Federation during the 1990s


  • Sofia Cheidvasser
  • Hugo Benítez-Silva


This paper uses a representative sample of the Russian Federation, the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, to estimate the returns to education in this ex-communist country. We tackle this classic issue in labor economics with the realistic expectation of obtaining results for Russia comparable in quality and reliability to those available in developed countries and other economies in transition. Using standard regression techniques we find that the returns to education in Russia are quite low compared with those reported in the literature on countries throughout the world, in almost no specification reaching higher than 5 per cent. Moreover, there is virtually no improvement in returns to education in the 1992-99 period, a result somewhat at odds with other studies using Russian data from similar time periods. When we instrument our main regressor using policy experiments from the 1960s, we find comparable results. We also perform a selectivity correction and discover even lower returns to education for men, although they become slightly higher for women. Additionally, we find extremely low returns to tenure, which can even become negative in certain specifications. Copyright 2007 The Authors; Journal compilation 2007 CEIS, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

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  • Sofia Cheidvasser & Hugo Benítez-Silva, 2007. "The Educated Russian's Curse: Returns to Education in the Russian Federation during the 1990s," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(1), pages 1-41, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:21:y:2007:i:1:p:1-41

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tilman Brück1 & Alexander Danzer & Alexander Muravyev & Natalia Weißhaar, 2007. "Determinants Of Poverty During Transition: Household Survey Evidence From Ukraine," PRUS Working Papers 40, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
    2. Kyui, Natalia, 2016. "Expansion of higher education, employment and wages: Evidence from the Russian Transition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 68-87.
    3. Sergey Roshchin & Victor Rudakov, 2015. "Do Starting Salaries for Graduates Measure the Quality of Education? A Review of Studies by Russian and Foreign Authors," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 137-181.
    4. Oleg Badunenko & Kiril Tochkov, 2010. "Soaring dragons, roaring tigers, growling bears," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 18(3), pages 539-570, July.

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