Educational Scores: How Does Russia Fare?

41 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2011

See all articles by Chiara Amini

Chiara Amini

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Simon John Commander

London Business School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics


This paper uses two large multi-country datasets on educational scores – PISA and TIMSS – to examine the performance of Russia in comparative light as well as the factors associated with differences in educational outcomes in Russia. Despite the perception of a positive educational legacy, Russian scores are not stellar and have mostly deteriorated. Using an education production function, we distinguish between individual and family background factors and those relating to the school and institutional environment. We use pooled data, as well as cross sectional evidence, to look at the variation across countries before looking at within-country variation in Russia. We find – both in the cross-country estimates as also those using just Russia data – that a number of individual and family variables in particular, such as parental educational levels, are robustly associated with better educational outcomes. Institutional variables also matter – notably student-teacher ratios and indicators of school autonomy – but there are also some clear particularities in the Russian case.

Keywords: human capital, PISA

JEL Classification: H5, I21, I28, J24, O15, P5

Suggested Citation

Amini, Chiara and Commander, Simon John, Educational Scores: How Does Russia Fare?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6033. Available at SSRN:

Chiara Amini (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Simon John Commander

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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