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Human Capital in Transitional Russia


  • Victoria Vernon

    (Univeristy of Texas at Austin)


This paper applies parametric and nonparametric techniques to the most recent data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) 1992- 2000 and shows the returns to schooling increased over the course of transition, overall and for attainment cohorts neither at the top nor bottom of the schooling ladder. The collapse in earnings is focused on people with graduate degrees. Returns to schooling are higher for women; but this gain is more than offset by the large gender wage gap. The gender wage differential increased over the years especially for younger women and women without higher education; there is evidence of increased discrimination. Return to experience increased and remained higher for women than for men. The age-earnings profile for men became more compressed, favoring the young with respect to the old; whereas the opposite took place for women, whose earnings peak became steeper at the middle age. Comparing to the estimates from the U.S. Current Population Survey 1992-2000, the returns to schooling are still lower in Russia; while the returns to experience are higher, especially for women, and the gender wage differential is now more than twice as large in Russia than in the U.S.

Suggested Citation

  • Victoria Vernon, 2002. "Human Capital in Transitional Russia," Labor and Demography 0204003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0204003
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    Cited by:

    1. Flabbi, Luca & Paternostro, Stefano & Tiongson, Erwin R., 2008. "Returns to education in the economic transition: A systematic assessment using comparable data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 724-740, December.
    2. Alexander Muravyev, 2006. "Human Capital Externalities: Evidence from the Transition Economy of Russia," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 629, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Harry Patrinos & Suhas Parandekar & Ekaterina Melianova & Artem Volgin, 2020. "Returns to Education in the Russian Federation," World Bank Other Operational Studies 33976, The World Bank.
    4. Elena Kazakova, 2007. "Wages in a growing Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15(2), pages 365-392, April.
    5. Tamar Khitarishvili, 2010. "Assessing the Returns to Education in Georgia," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_608, Levy Economics Institute.

    More about this item


    human capital; Russian transitional economy; labor markets returns to education; wage determinants;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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