«The Problem of the Discrepancy Between Work, Education, and Literacy in Russia»

В рамках проекта РНФ опубликована статья Д. С. Попова и А. В. Стрельниковой «The Problem of the Discrepancy Between Work, Education, and Literacy in Russia».


This article studies the problem of the discrepancy between attained education and employment in Russia. Our research relies on the results of an international study of adult competencies (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, or PIAAC) that measured the reading literacy and numeracy of working-age people using representative national samples. The test results of OECD countries demonstrate that there is a connection with the level of formal education. However, we observed several deviations from this general trend in Russia. An analysis has allowed us to identify three types of discrepancies. We discovered that there is no linear relationship between the level of formal education and measured literacy in Russia. Gains in competency slow down at the higher education level in Russia. At the same time, the literacy level that was observed at the lower educational stages was in line with what was observed in leading countries from around the world. It was discovered that a larger share of people with a low level of literacy occupy high-skilled jobs in Russia than in developed countries. When we assess the distribution of people with a particular formal education on the labor market in Russia, we see a picture that is very similar to what we can observe in the OECD countries. Apparently, this discrepancy has remained hidden because of the unreliability of the educational indicator of possessing a higher education degree. This indicator has been used as the main (and in most cases the only) factor in both sociological and economic studies that have been conducted in Russia. The third empirical finding of our study indicates that there is a correspondence between the importance assigned to measured literacy and possessing a higher education degree in the job placement process. In Russia, both factors seem to be significant, but measured literacy is more strongly correlated with the likelihood of being employed than possessing a formal degree. At the same time, the difference in income level among respondents with low and high rates of literacy in Russia is much less than in the OECD countries. We interpret the quantitative measurements in light of qualitative data from a research project that studied life trajectories.


Literacy; education; high-skilled jobs; qualitative data; social mobility

Ссылка при цитировании:

Popov D.S.,  Strelnikova A.V. The Problem of the Discrepancy Between Work, Education, and Literacy in Russia // Russian Education & Society. 2018. Vol.: 60 (6). P. 520-535. DOI: 10.1080/10609393.2018.1527130.

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