Chapter 7: Job-Related Adult Learning in the Russian Federation: More Educational Opportunities without an Equalization Effect
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The adjustment of adults’ human capital in Russia is an important factor for successful integration into the labor market against the country’s background of transformation processes that have led to a labor market economy and to Russia’s integration into a globalizing world. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the consequent liberalization of the labor system, adult learning has become a very important mechanism for coping with the inequalities that have developed. However, this issue has not received much attention in Russia from empirical researchers in recent years. In this sense, the current study aims to shed some light on adult learning in Russia since the fall of the Iron Curtain. Specifically, I investigate whether adult learning can compensate for previous inequalities in educational attainment and if it can thereby contribute to economic and societal equalization. More precisely, I examine (1) the participation patterns of different groups in adult learning in Russia in the last decade and (2) whether participation in different types of adult learning contributes to employment and career progress. Previous research in adult learning demonstrates that both participation rates and payoffs are country specific and associated with institutional settings, such as the organization of the educational system and the welfare regime (for an extended literature review, see Chapter 1). Accordingly, I use the specific institutional settings in Russia to shape my expectations based on the global hypotheses outlined in Chapter 1 and to discuss the obtained results.

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