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The educated Russian’s curse: returns to education in the Russian federation during the 1990s


Cheidvasser, Sofia & Benitez-Silva, Hugo (2007). The educated Russian's curse: returns to education in the Russian federation during the 1990s. Labour, 21(1), 1-41.


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. Tables, Figures, References. Adapted from the source document.


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Cheidvasser, Sofia
Benitez-Silva, Hugo