Ethnic hierarchies and discrimination in the Russian labour market: An experimental study

In collaboration with:Dr Andrey Shcherbak, St Petersburg

  • Awarded to: Dr Alexey Bessudnov
  • Funding Awarded to Exeter: £17,075
  • Dates: 1 September 2016 - 31 August 2018
  • Sponsor(s): British Academy

In this project we will conduct an experiment to study ethnic discrimination in the labour market in Russia. In the last decades Russia attracted a large number of immigrants from other former Soviet states, and it also has native ethnic minorities. Survey data suggest that prejudice of ethnic Russians towards minorities may be quite strong, but some minorities are seen more favourably than others and the degree of ethnic prejudice varies across different locations in Russia. To explore this experimentally, we will send fictitious job applications with ethnic names to real vacancies advertised on the Internet and measure the response rates for different ethnic groups. A similar experiment is currently being conducted in five European countries, including the UK, in a project funded by the European Commission. This will allow directly comparing the degree of ethnic discrimination in the labour market in the UK, Russia and some other European states. Such a comparison will make a theoretical contribution testing how ethnic discrimination depends on the institutional context.