Culture and Schooling. Persisting Soviet norms of Science and Gender Equality among Russian Immigrants in Israel.
Speaker(s)Claudia Senik (Paris School of Economics, France)
LocationErasmus University, Polak Building, Room 1-20
Date and time
June 14, 2019
12:00 - 13:00
We document the cultural legacy of the Soviet system on the education and occupation choices of descendants of Russian immigrants in Israel. The Soviet system had two main features: the strong prioritization given to science and technology, and a general context of equal labor market participation of men and women.
We analyze the universe of education and occupational choices of Israeli youth, from middle school in 2002, 2003 to tertiary education and the labor market in 2016. We uncover a strong persistence of the aforementioned Soviet traits. First, descendants of Russian immigrants are stronger in eighth-grade mathematics and show preferences for STEM subjects in high school. Second, in tertiary education, they remain distinct from natives and other immigrants, but diverge by gender. In tertiary education Russian men remain almost exclusively within the STEM realm, while Russian women remain over represented in STEM compared to other women but also move into other fields, namely business and social science. However, they differ significantly from other women in the low percentage of Russian women going into traditionally female “family oriented” professions such as education and social work.