Working paper by Victor Rudakov, Ilya Prakhov
Working paper "Gender Wage Inequality In Russian Universities" is available online.
For several years, the Russian system of higher education had been undergoing massive transformations related to the enhancement of the global competitiveness of the national academic sector. The introduction of research-oriented universities and the transition to incentive contracts are the main elements of the reform. In this article we show how these institutional changes contribute to reducing the problem of gender inequality in academia. Based on comprehensive data from a Russian faculty survey (MEMO), it is found that there are considerable differences in gender wage inequality by university status: female faculty earn significantly lower salaries in ordinary universities, but there are no gender differences in pay in research-oriented universities, which are most actively transitioning to incentive remuneration schemes. Female faculty experience vertical segregation: women are less likely to achieve senior positions in university hierarchies. We also found indirect evidence of women’s self-selection for lower-paid positions: female faculty are less likely to achieve advanced degrees and to have research publications. Overall, the study shows that male faculty earns 8.7% higher salaries than female counterparts after controlling for all observable characteristics. Oaxaca decomposition showed that 53% of the gender wage gap can be explained by observable characteristics, while the rest can be attributed to discrimination, self-selection or unobservable factors. In the absence of discrimination, male faculty should earn 10% higher salaries, but due to discrimination and unobservable factors, male faculty, on average, earn 18.7% more. However, the gender wage gap in academia is considerably below the national average: women earned on average around 80% of male salaries in academic sector, while in the whole Russian economy women earned around 70% of men’s wages.
JEL Classification: J16; J30; J31; J41; J78
Keywords: gender wage gap, economics of gender, gender inequalities in academia, faculty pay, incentive contract, project “5-100”.
Working paper (pdf)