Professor Andy Green, University of London: Skills inequality in Russia is lower than in other countries.
Education determines people's chances of success in life. Also it is the mechanism for the reproduction of the social stratification of the new generations. The form of the educational system in the country is related with skills distribution in society and the level of inter-generational social mobility. This is an important factor of income distribution of the population, which leads economic inequality. Therefore, the modern debates about educational inequality and policy in this area are important to reduce economic inequality.
About Russian research in a global context
- I am looking for some explanations for some phenomena that arising in my own research on skills inequality where it is most of the measures in skills inequalities lower in Russia than in any of the other 24 countries in the OECD's survey on skills. It is very interesting, I am looking for some explanations as to why that may be the case.
– Maybe some ideas or some speakers inspired you because you might have discussed some issues of skills inequality as if mentioned, so maybe same new ideas at this conference…
– I am sure, that they will be, but that is very early days yet. I have only been in one session and it was on macroeconomics.
– Ok, and do you believe that it's possible to research skills in equality in Russia or maybe there is not enough data are not enough methods for this research?
– No-no, it is certainly enough data. You could do the research at least on the data of the PIAAC, the OECD’s survey on skills. Maybe to research inequality in higher education is more difficult – it is less data perhaps, but certainly there is enough data for some serious research.
– How about practical aspects? Do you believe these ideas can be applied to real policies in Russia, for example to real social and educational policy?
– Yes, I am sure they can. I mean that in the education field there are always different policies which have an effect, if you choose to implement them. We have enough knowledge now from international studies to know which policies have what effect. So there's always the potential to adopt new policies to change things.
About scientific approaches in Russia and abroad
– Approach to the research is probably not particularly different, accepted as much as the data you have available somewhat different from some other countries. But I think from what I've discovered so far the topics of interest are the same.
– And as for the availability of the data, to do think in Russia there are more problems or less?
– Well, Russia is involved in a number of the surveys which they OECD conducts, which means you have the data from there. I am told on issues to do with the labor market – there is less survey data. You don't have a labor market survey like some countries of Western Europe do. So in certain areas I think probably there are data limitations, yes.