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Essays on occupational social class and status in post-Soviet Russia


Bessudnov, Alexey (2011). Essays on occupational social class and status in post-Soviet Russia. Master's thesis / Doctoral dissertation.


The aim of this thesis is to explore several aspects of occupation-based inequality in post-Soviet Russia that have previously been given little attention in the literature. The data sources for statistical analysis are the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS) and the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). Various statistical techniques have been used, such as regression models with random and fixed effects, nonparametric and semiparametric regression models, survival models and log-multiplicative models for contingency tables. First, the thesis looks at the validity of the application of the European Socio-Economic Classiffication (ESeC) in Russia. The results show that ESeC classes in Russia are different in respect to several aspects of their employment contract, such as the probability of informal employment, the index of fringe benefits and unemployment risks. This confirms the validity of the ESeC for Russia. Second, the association between earnings and age is analyzed. The shape of cross-sectional age-earnings profiles in Russia is different from the shape in Western countries, especially for men. There is little variation in earnings across age groups, and younger men have higher average earnings than older men. The thesis suggests and discusses several explanations for this, such as age segregation in the labour market and the effect of class structure. Third, the thesis explores the class gap in mortality. Non-manual classes have lower mortality risks than manual classes, both for men and women. The size of the class gap in mortality in Russia is larger than in Western European countries. Fourth, the thesis constructs an occupational status scale and analyzes its properties. The scale is based on the information about intermarriages between occupational groups. The Russian scale is similar to the scales previously constructed for European countries and the USA. Overall, the thesis demonstrates similarity in the patterns of occupation-based inequality in Russia and in Western industrial countries. It also discusses some technical aspects of class analysis and suggests a more clear separation between the descriptive and causal logic within it.


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Bessudnov, Alexey