The determinants of academic salaries in Russia


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Dono: Marcos Pedroso

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Última Atualiz.: 01-11-2018 14:43


The system of higher education in Russia, as in many other countries, is in the midst of reforms
related to the global trends of globalization and transformation to a knowledge economy. In
order to successfully respond to these global challenges, it is necessary to improve the quality
of the university sector and rethink the role of professors in enhancing academic productivity.
A 20-year period of recession after the collapse of the Soviet Union has led to a diversification
of universities and teachers and resulted in both a sharp fall in academic salaries and a decline
in the attractiveness of the academic profession. Since the professoriate constitutes the main
source of academic productivity, this article assesses the consequences of the decline in the
academic sector before the start of major reforms of academic salaries. Using the data from the
‘The Changing Academic Profession’ project (CAP-Russia 2012 subsample), we identified
and evaluated the activities of the professoriate that determine the income of university staff.
The results show that, in general, the number of publications positively affected academic
salaries, but for certain indicators of research activity, the effects are ambiguous. Administrative
duties are important for academic salaries, with a positive effect ranging from 15 to 51%.
Seniority also has a positive impact on a professor’s salary. The most consistent results in the
pre-reform period were obtained for National research universities (NRUs), where academic
salaries are determined by research activity (articles in academic journals) and administrative
duties. Salaries rise with seniority, which corresponds to the human capital theory (as well as
alternative theories). Salaries in NRUs also reflect gender equality. The results of the study can
be used to assess the consequences of the recession in the academic sector in Russia and as a
baseline for analyzing current reforms in universities.

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