The analysis of the problems of  Russian human capital development in the frame of the concept “social capital “

The aim of this paper is the analysis of the impact of social capital on human capital development in Russia. The transformation of the disposable nature of Russian human capital in real country’s advantage requires the involvement of the variety of social resources into this process. In spite of the social changes during transition, this problem is being urgent for Russian society up to the present. As it is demonstrated in the paper, the impact of social capital on human capital development in Russia has a complex nature. At present Russian population is relying on the variety of social resources in production of their welfare, including informal, modern and anti-modern social capital networks. There is watching the dynamics in relation to the priority of these types in Russian society during Transition. That is why, the influence of social capital on human capital in Russian society is characterised by contradictory nature. Its investigation contributes to the analysis of the vector of emerging processes in Russia as in the other so-called “BRIC countries.” 

Introduction : The disposable nature of Russian Human capital.

The role of human assets in socioeconomic competitiveness is watching at the present as a world tendency, because it is determined by the increasing of the requirements of knowledge-based economy to personal qualities and professional skill of personnel. As it is known, Russia, as some others post-socialist countries is characterizing by high level of human capital development inherited from the Soviet period. That should be as one of comparative advantage in the development of skillintensive manufacturing and in high-tech goods production in transitional countries, including Russia. In the reality, as it was demonstrated by the specialists, working on the problems of human capital development in Russia, “a significant endowment of human capital creates the possibility but not the certainty of sustainable economic growth” ( Algieri, 2006, 103). So, the problem of human capital in transitional countries, including Russia is related to it maintaining, further development and efficient involvement for sustainable economic growth.

It is necessary to point out that in Russia these processes are watching, which can testify in the favor of the human capital development. For example, the commercialization of Soviet education system, which has started from the beginning of Transition and is characterized by the augmentation of the numbers of educational departments, services, accompanied by the growth of the number of Russian population, having the diplomas of higher education. Accordingly to this index Russia is recognized among the countries with developed economy. The analysis of professional and educational structure following formal characteristics, demonstrates that Russian labor force continues to be one of more qualified in the world. However, the occupational structure of Russian labor force testifies the tendency of insufficient utilization of the qualification of Russian work force. Thus, among the employees, which educational potential are using insufficiently, are situating 10 % of employees of Russian services, 20 % of employees of agricultural sector and about 40 % of non-qualified employees (R. Kapelushnikov, 2006, 33).

The limitations concerning human capital application in Russia can be proved by the other database, including the possibility of utilization by Russian population of educational, professional, informational, cultural and social capital. The probability of efficient utilization of each resource by Russians after ten years of market reform doesn’t even reach 50 % (E. Avraamova, 2002, 59).

This database confirms the necessity to investigate the problems of Russian human capital in relation to its application, so analyzing social structures that it determining. It is obvious that this vast problematic requires, in it turn, the involvement of different methodology and theoretical approaches for such investigation.

During last years, the specialists working on the problems related to the competition in human resources and its management have emphasized the necessity of the adaptation of the broad theoretical approach for the analysis of such competition by focusing on the complexity of social and institutional framework its determining (Allouche, Huault, 2001). The case of Russia, characterised by the inherited from Soviet system high level of human capital and by the keeping of the tendency of high value orientation of Russian population in relation to their formation, from one side and by the difficulties of application of human capital in Russian society, from the other side, demonstrates the solidity of such theoretical approach. That’s why, in our paper, the problems of human capital development in Russia will be analysed in the frame of social capital concept. That concept in a broad sense is characterising social networks and the functioning of social structures that can facilitate the coordination and the cooperation for mutual benefits of its participants.

As it is known, the analysis of interconnection between social and human capital was suggested by one of the pioneer working on this problem, J.Coleman (1988). He described the main forms of social capital, which are influencing on the different social phenomena including human capital development. These forms of social capital can be observed at macroand microsocial levels, including:

  • reciprocity and expectations;
  • informational channels;
  • the norms and effective sanctions;
  • the features(characteristics) of social structures facilitating the social actions.

Coleman has analyzed realization of these forms of social capital in the favor of human capital development at family and outside the family. He argued that social capital is aggregated at the family level and in condition of social environment of the school. It is playing an important social role at the level of financial, physical and human capital.

Such kind of analysis continues be especially important for transitional societies taking into account global changing of all forms of social capital taking place in condition of such type of societies. This problem is sharpened in Russian society, which has inherited “vast pools” and high educational achievement from the Soviet period (Algierie, 1999). Russia as some other Eastern European and CIS countries was expected to exploit this advantage in condition of global social restructuring. In spite of considerable social changes, the specialists, who have analyzed the recent situation in Human development in Russia, are outlining the disposable nature of Russian Human Resources. 1

In mentioned report were enumerated the main features of Russian human capital, which activation and efficient utilization can be follow the integration of Russian in postindustrial world. These main features include high level of education, a highly qualified work force, large intellectual potential and scientific infrastructure, and even world leadership in a number of scientific fields.

The disposable nature of Russian Human capital can be confirmed also by the evaluation of the share of national welfare in Russia per capita. In the mid. of 90-th. it accounted for 400 thousands dollars per capita, the share of human capital amount to 200 thousands dollars. Nevertheless, Russia situated only on 64 places in 2005 in world competitiveness (Ivanov, 2005, 6-7).

So, there are watching, as it was demonstrated, the contradictions concerning human capital development in Russia. Essentially such contradictions refer to the possibility to apply actual human capital in condition of recent social environment in Russia. 

1. Methodology and empirical database.

The analysis of the influence of social capital on Russian human capital development will begin from the methodology of the investigation of social capital concept and the empirical database of our papers.

As it is known, social capital concept at present is being rather widely used for the investigation of social networks and the quality of social structures, its evaluation in relation to the facilitation of social activity. The analysis of the bibliography, concerning social capital concept and the database related to human capital development in Russia demonstrate the necessity of critical vision of the new concepts, involving for the investigation of social phenomena, including social capital concept.. In spite of the shaping of the certain research tradition in relation to this concept (Bourdieu,1980; Coleman, 1988; Lin, 1995; Putnam, 1995; Nahapiet, Ghoshal, 1998; Leana, Van

Buren III, 1999; Mignone, 2003; Ponthieux, 2004, etc.), its study continues to keep the methodological questions, concerning poly-semantic content and empirical contradictions, the difficulties of measuring of social capital in condition of different social context, etc.

As a result of such methodological questions, there is watching the variety of the definitions of social capital suggested by the specialists. Though such definitions are rather numerous, the specialists are outlining the next basically approaches to the definition of social capital: functional and approach based on the networks and the resources (Bayad, Benedic, Valoggia, 2006). Functional approach was suggested by Coleman (1988), who defined social capital as the function of social structures that facilitates certain social action of individual or of the organizations in the framework of these structures (Coleman, 1988, 598). Second approach represented by Bourdieu. In his opinion social capital comprises both the networks and the assets that may be mobilized through the networks (Bourdieu, 1986). So, in a broad sense social capital is being social resource, which is rooting in social relationship and is serving for individual and public goods (Lin, 1995, 701-702).

The problem of the accumulation of social resources in the favor of facilitating social activity is extremely important for transitional societies. That can be explained by the transformational nature of social resources in condition of transitional societies, including Russia, which is manifesting both in it positive and negative influence of social networks on different social phenomena. As the main social limitations, related to negative influence of social networks on social phenomena and determining to a considerable extent negative tendencies in human capital development in transitional societies, can be pointed out the opportunistic behaviour of different social agents, related to the instability of social institutions in condition of such societies. For example, in the explaining the difficulties in the implementation of market competitiveness in Russian society, the specialists have analyzed the prevailing in Russian society “rule of men”, instead “rule of the law” ( Ledeneva, 1998; Rosefielde, 2002). Such negative peculiarity of social relation, which is rooting deeply in Russian society and is prevailing in social networks up to the present, is determining personal relationship and business communications in disfavor of its efficiency. It is obvious that such tendency in social relation and communication has an impact on the development of human capital in society.

In the evaluation of the influence of social capital on human capital development in Russia we referred to the investigation of the role of social capital in transitional societies (Raiser, Haerpfer, Nowotny, Wallace, 2001). It is possible to outline the set of the questions that has being raised in mentioned investigation in relation to our research problem, such as:

¨·The difference between formal and informal social capital. Formal social capital is accessible to everybody, independently of personal characteristics. Informal social capital is establishing in exchange through informal institutions and networks. Its concrete forms are barter arrangements, transactions in grey and black economy and enterprise networks, clientelism and tunneling out of public resources for private ends.

¨·The character of co-existence of formal and informal social capital isn’t supposed its complementarities and in the absence of effective public institutions, the social return on the informal social capital could become negative.

We based the analysis of the reliance on informal and formal social capital of Russian populations and its consequences for human capital development on the survey of social capital networks in Russian society, conducted in the frame of World Bank Social Capital Initiative (Rose, 1999.) We proceed from the theoretical conclusion of one of the pioneer of the investigation of this concept-R. Putnam, who considers that social capital, is increasing the return on the investment into physical and human capital (Putnam, 1993.) Logically the return on such investment can also decrease.

In our article we follow the classification of social capital, including modern, pre-modern and anti-modern ones for the evaluation of the positive and the negative influence of Russian social capital networks on human capital development. As primary preposition for the analysis of the influences of social capital on human capital development was hypothesis suggested and argued by R. Rose: “A multiplicity of (but not necessarily all) social capital networks, modern, premodern and anti-modern, determine welfare of Russian population” (Rose, 1999, 13). So, following this classification of social capital networks taking place in Russian society, the influence of social capital on the human capital development in Russia can be positive and negative.

The study of influence of social capital on human capital development in Russia is supposing the differentiation of its components. Following Putnam (1993), social capital is denoting the extent of civic mindedness of members of society, the existence of social norms promoting collective action and the degree of trust in public institutions. These components in aggregation combine an important social resource, its state is correlated with transition process, economic growth, civic participation (Raiser, Haerpfer, Nowotny, Wallace, 2001).

In spite of the definition of human capital as the entity of such personal characteristics as education, qualification, professional experience and the health, the more spread approach concerning human capital evaluation is oriented to the analysis of the influence on the personal income of such individual parameters as educational level, professional experience and duration of the work in condition of the same work-place (Mincer, 1974).

In our papers will be analyzed the influence of the components of social capital on the tendencies of human capital development by the analysis of the next questions:

¨·Does the behavior of Russian population concern the investment in education is determined by the state of social capital in Russian society? How it is correlated with social norms, trust and the quality of social institutions?

¨·Does the growth of educational level of Russian population increases its income, from one side, and the prosperity and competitiveness of Russian society, from the other side? 

An empirical base of our paper includes the data of:

¨·collective investigation of social capital in transitional countries (Raiser, Haerpfer, Nowotny, Wallace, 2001);

¨·the survey of R.Rose testing empirically the extent to which Russians use today social capital networks, wide-spread in Russian society to produce their welfare (Rose, 1999);

¨·the investigations of Russian specialists which contain the database of the development of Russian human capital at country and regional level (Nestrerova & Sabirjanova, 1998; Polishuk, 2005; Ivanov N. et al eds., 2005);

¨·the empirical survey of Russian specialists on interaction of Russian labour market and educational services (Shashkova, 2007; Vasiljev, Gurtov, Piturin, 2007);

¨·our empirical database on the different types of social networks in Russian society received during the polling of Russians in 20072008 in central region (Moscow) and at the north of Russia (Arkhangelsk). 

2.    The growth of educational level of Russian population during Transition. Does it indicate positive influence of social networks in Russian society on human capital development?

As it was pointed out in introduction, Russia inherited from the former Soviet Union high level of human capital. In the early 1990’s, Russia had 200 university and college students per 10 000 of population, a value which is similar to most developed countries (Algieri, 1999, 105.) Transition period didn’t change the tendency of the growth of such main components of Russian human capital as educational level. The share of student per 10 000 of population in Russia in 2004 has already amounted to 407, that is higher than even in such developed countries as: France340, Britain-350, Germany-216 (Arapov, 2004,

30). In 2002/03 about 50,9 % of students (3,03 mln.) were paying for their education. In 2002 the share of consolidated expenditures (household and budgetary) for the students of high school accounted for 149,1 mlrd of roubles, in 2003162,5 mlrd of roubles, about 70 % of such expenditure have been carried out by the households (Arapov, 2001, 31).

This database and the database of the numerous surveys argue in the favor of the stable tendency of the growth of such component of Russian human capital as educational level of population. Some Russian specialists estimate this tendency as “a boom of high school services” (Arapov, 2004).

By the reason of the difficulties of human capital application in Russia pointed out by Western and Russian specialists (see; Algieri, 1999; Human Development Report 2002/2003 for Russian Federation. In prof.S.N.Bobylev ed. Moscow, 2003), we’ll analyze quantitative consequences of the mentioned tendency in common with the qualitative one, including:

¨·the realization of social function of Russian high education;

¨·the influence of social resources on the return of the investment in Russian human capital development.

The analysis of suggested set of problems will be observed in our paper taking into account our main research purpose: the investigation of interconnection between social and human capital in Russian society. 

2.1 The realization of social function of Russian high education.

As it is known, in condition of stable society the educational level is being one of the keyfactor in social vertical mobility (Sorokin, 1992). During social transformation of Russian society this function of educational services has also evolved. Nevertheless, it is necessary to point out that among Russians the positive expectations of this function continue to persist as a stable up to the present..

The study of the polling of Russian population, conducted by VCIOM in spring 2005 demonstrated that 85 % of respondents found as necessary the receiving of professional education for their children/grand children. 70 % of them have insisted on the necessity on professional high education. The pupils shared the same value orientation. 85 % of them prefer to continue their education at high school (Shashkova, 2007, 67). This positive orientation of Russian population concern the necessity to invest in the growth of educational level are evaluating by both : Western and Russian specialists as an individualistic response of Russian population on social reforms (Rose, 1999; Arapov, 2004).

The spreading of neo-liberal ideology in transitional societies, including Russia can be pointed out as one of the serious reason of such response. Russian population, as the population of the other post-communist countries from the beginning of the transition had to orient to the market competitiveness and values for their survival. As it notes R. Rose in his analysis of social capital networks in Russian society, at the beginning of the Transition, education, age and the other elements of human capital gained importance as determinants of income against antimodern indicators such as membership in the Communist Party (Rose, 1999, 10).

So, Russian population in spite of being involved in post-communist networks: formal and informal, modern or anti-modern, from the beginning of the transition relied on individual’s human capital. That was valued by the same author as equilibrium trap that hinders the progress of Russian society toward a modern market democratic state at the level of using by Russian population of social networks inconsistent with a modern society (Rose, 1999, 2).

The orientation of Russian population towards modern resources for the production of their welfare has determined the evaluation of educational services as more credible one among the other public institutions (see table1).

Table 1: Trust in formal institutions, 1995 (confidence in institution). 

Public institutions

Mean score: 1=no trust, 7=great trust

1. Ecological movement


2. Army


3. Educational services*


4. Women movement


5. Church


6. Europen Union


7. Civil services


8. TV


9. Press


10. Legal system


11. Unions


12. Police


13. Government


14. Parliament


15. Parties


16. Companies


Adapted from: Raiser, Haerpfer, Nowotny, Wallace, 2001, 17

*-educational services are not differentiated with the other public institutions by Raiser et al., (2001). The ranking of this institution was based on the data of our empirical survey conducted in Central region (Moscow) and at the North of Russia (Arkhangelsk).

It is obvious that all types of social capital networks also influence the transformation of educational system during transition in postcommunist countries. Nevertheless, at the same time of its positive changes at different level of this system were watching such anti-modern manifestation of social capital networks as protectionism, corruption and the excessive commercialization. That was determined by an opportunistic behavior of the administration of educational services. Though, as it can be seen also from the database of our empirical survey, this institution is characterized as one of confidential among the other social institutions and a lesser degree involved in anti-modern and pre-modern types of social capital networks.


However, the difficulties of transformational changes in Russia determined the weakening of social function of education. It can be confirmed by the database of survey, conducted by

Russian Institute of sociology in 1997 (Golenkova, Igitkhanyan, 1999), see following table.

Table 2 : The hierarchy of the determinants of social stratification in Russian society. 

The determinants of social













Illegal actions



















Kravchenko A.I. Sociology. Moscow, Akad. Proekt, 2008, p.326. Adapted from: Golenkova, Igitkhanyan, 1999, 22-32.

As it can be seen with the table, in respondents’ opinion, educational and professional levels are not being the more important determinants of social stratification in comparing with the power, income, and property and even with illegal actions.

The transformations of education as social institution in Russia, as the transformation of the other public institution, has been followed by the appearance in it structure of the informal social networks. The corruption during the inscription procedures, protectionism and bribes during the examination procedures, can be pointed out as the forms of such networks in Russian educational sphere. These informal relations in educational sphere to a considerable extent are eroding the value of the Russian human capital. That is determining also by the state of civic mindedness in Russian society (see table 3). 

Table 3: Civic mindedness in Russia, in transition economies and in OCDE countries.


Avoiding transport fare

Cheating on taxes

Buying stolen goods

Accepting bribes

Average index for 1990

Average index for 1995









Transition economies




















Mean score: 1=always, 10=never of frequency of immoral actions. Adapted from: Raiser, Haerpfer, Nowotny, Wallace, 2001, 9.

This table shows that citizens in transition countries, including Russia are less “civic – minded” in comparing with the citizens in advanced and wealthy countries. As it can be seen, the average index of civic mindedness in Russia even was decreasing during 1990-1995 in comparing with the increasing of the same index in transition and OECD countries. This data is confirming the conclusion of R. Rose concerning the explication of reliance of Russian population on a multiplicity of networks (modern, anti-modern and informal, from the end of 90’s). Such reliance is being as equilibrium in which actions supplied by elites is matched by popular expectations and demands (Rose, 1999, 29).

The influence of pre-modern and antimodern social values on human capital evaluation in Russia can be confirmed also by the opinion of the Russians concerning the determinants of career development. In empirical survey (2003, 900 respondents) conducted in Moscow, Vologda and Taganrog for the study of the influence of high education on vertical mobility in Russian society, only 36 % of respondents have indicated that the competence determined their career development. The majority of respondents (64 %) indicated the importance of informal social capital in personal career. In their opinion, organizational career promotion depends on the relationship with an administration. At the same time, the respondents evaluated such criteria of personal career as unmoral and injustice: 75 % versus 21, 1 % (Avraamova, 2004, 54). This data demonstrates the contradictions in human capital application in Russia. From one side, the Russians indicate the importance of modern values in human capital evaluation, but in the reality, up to the present in Russian society are prevailing “the rule of a man” instead “the rule of a law” (Ledeneva, 1998; Rosefielde, 2002).

The determination of contradictive trajectory in human capital development in Russia, which can be explained by it determination of pre-modern and anti-modern types of social networks, taking place in Russian society, can be demonstrated by the reference to the appearance of so-called “the new poor Russians” at the level of “the new rich Russians”. The majority of “ the new poor Russians” is representing the persons with rather high intellectual level. The negative vector of their vertical mobility can be explained by the belonging of “new poor Russians” to state budget sphere. The restructuring of wages during Transition in Russian labor market wasn’t favorable for the personnel of this sphere. At the beginning of 1997th the wage in education accounted for 59 %, in culture51 % in comparing with the wages in industry (Kravchenko, 2008, 355). In spite of having rather high intellectual level, determined by the requirements to the competency profile in enumerated social spheres, personnel of the enumerated spheres had to carry out the costs of social transformation. The limitations of the application of human capital in this case reflect both pre-modern and even anti-modern nature of social networks in Russia up to the present.

Nevertheless for the considerable part of Russians, the educational level is important not only because of vertical social mobility but also because it gives the possibility to keep an employment position. As it was confirming with the database of unemployment analyzed in 2004, 23, 4 % of unemployed were the persons with the school education, 26,2 %the persons with the primary vocational education, 35,1 % -the persons with the secondary education and only 15,4

% the persons with high education (Arapov, 2004, 34). As the specialists also note it, the level of education is influencing on the duration of unemployment in the favor of its decreasing (Nesterova & Sabirjanova, 1998, 51).

The analysis of social function of educational institution in Russia demonstrates both, the positive and negative tendencies. Up to the present, the educational level is being one of the important determinants of social vertical mobility in Russian society. Even, if it doesn’t change social status of Russians or their welfare for the best, as a tendency, it helps to Russians to keep their social status position from its worsening.

So, following the database of empirical survey, in the evaluation of the transformation of Russian educational institution during transition, it is possible to indicate the vector of its negative tendency: the shift of the transformational costs on Russian population concerning educational level. 

2.2. The influence of social resources on the return of the investment in Russian human capital development. Does the growth of educational level of Russian population increase its income, the prosperity and the competitiveness of Russian society?

As it was demonstrated in the previous part of our paper the orientation of Russian population to the growth of educational level continues to be stable. Such tendency, as it was argued by the classification of R. Rose of the types of social capital networks is consistent with the values of modern societies.

Nevertheless, the mentioned tendency is demonstrating the prevailing of individual level of human capital reproduction in Russian society. The study of the dynamics of Russian human capital development can’t be limited by the analysis of the attitudes of Russian population in relation to the educational level. Such analysis should be added by the study of the return on the investment on human capital development both at microand macro-social levels.

Such analysis can clarify the nature of human capital’s reproduction in Russian society

For this purpose we proceed from the theoretical conclusion of N. Lin, who evaluated social resources as the central element of social capital (Lin, 1995). In opinion of this specialist, working on the problem of social resources, such resources can be involved in social relationship but can also exist independently of a certain result (Lin, 1995, 702).

As it is known, the investigation of the problem of the return on the human capital investment from both: macroand micro-social level of it analysis has shaped in a research tradition in 80-s (Shultz, 1971, Mincer, 1974, Becker, 1975). Such problematic field continues to develop by the increasing of the conceptual level of its analysis. At present, the object of the analysis of the state of human capital is shifted to the investigation of human development in more general sense. That is why, social capital concept has an important epistemological meaning. Its content is following to clarify the possibility of societies and countries to integrate social resources in the production of public and private goods.

As it was demonstrated above, from the beginning of the transition Russian population was oriented to the investment in human capital development. That has resulted in the return on these expenditures. The specialists, working on the problem of interaction of Russian labor market and human capital indicate that, in Russia, in 90’s, the return on the investment in high education amounted to 7 -8 % (Vasiljev, Gurtov, Piturin eds., 2007, 60). Such data is confirming high level of return on the investment in human capital in Russia, similar to the return on the investment in human capital in developed countries.

However the tendency of the increasing of the return on the investment in human capital development in Russia in mid. of 90’s has begun to weaken. In 1994, the return on the investment in education amounted to 7, 8 %, in 19966, 2 %. The same tendency was watching in relation to such component of human capital as professional experience (Nesterova, Sabirjanova, 1998, 50).

The third component of human capital – special professional experience, to a considerable extent was determined by personnel mobility, rather high in Russia during all period of transition (the turnover of workforce accounted for 4060 % of average number of the employees).The duration of such experience in Russia is lesser than in developed countries: 7 years for Russia and 10-12 years for developed countries (Vasiljev, Gurtov, Piturin eds., 2007, 76).

So, the decreasing of the return on human capital investment, at the end of 90-s demonstrates that individual’s level of human capital development has exhausted its potential in comparing with the previous period of Transition. In spite of the readiness of Russian population to continue the investment in human capital development (Polishuk, 2005, Shashkova, 2007), the neo-liberal conception of the maximization of welfare by the reliance on the individual resource, such as education, has demonstrated its limitation in condition of Russian social context.

The decreasing of the return on the investment in human capital has determined the necessity of Russian population to rely not only a single form of social capital networks. From the end of 90’s, Russian population has being involved in informal networks for the production of their welfare. That was noted both: by the Western (Rose, 1998) and Russian specialists (Avraamova, 2004).

«A Russian need not rely on a single form of capital. Instead, people have a portfolio of resourcesand the opening up of society by the collapse of the Soviet system has increased this.”(Rose, 1999, 28). As the same specialist outlined it, such value orientation is consistent with transformational upheavals ”multiple causation offers multiple opportunities”. If in 1992, accordingly the data of New Russia Barometer survey of all types of social capital, 35 % of respondents relied solely on their job in the official economy, by 1998 only 14 % depended solely on the modern first economy. A majority 56 % depended on a defensive portfolio, 14 % were enterprising, having two jobs, one in the official economy and another in shadow economy (Rose, 1998, 26 f,).

The limitation of human capital development in Russia at macro-social level to a consid-erable extent was determining by the prevailing of neo-liberal vision of Transitional processes which, as it is known, was shaped in so-called “Washington consensus” view of Transition (Roland G., 2000). Besides the other peculiarities, it was oriented to the weakening of the role of the state in social development, including human development.

The implementation of “Washington consensus” determined market “Bolshevizm” in transformation of Russian society, including institutional processes. Market “Bolshevizm” is reflecting in implementation of social reforms as selfpurpose that is expressing in the keeping of traditional gap between social reforms and Russian population. Nevertheless, market institutions in Russia up to the present are not dominating in determining the formal constraints and informal rules of the social life regulation, including economic sphere. The limitation in institutional transformation in Russian society, following the modern values can be proved by the participation of Russians in public institutions (see table 4).

Table 4: Civic participation of Russians, 1995 (Share of active participants in institutions, %). 



Transition econo-


OECD countries

































Adapted from: Raiser, Haerpfer, Nowotny, Wallace, 2001, 11.

For the summary of the empirical data concerning social capital development and its influence on human capital development in Russia, we refer to the analysis of relationship between moral norms, collective actions and trust in public institutions for transitional countries (Raiser et al. 2001). In spite of the positive correlation between trust in public institutions and civic participation for transitional countries, including Russia, in Russian case of such relationship, the indexes of trust and civic participation are less than in transitional and OECD countries. That testifies to the more difficulties in social capital accumulation in Russian society. By this reason, informal relationships in Russia are prevailing up to the present in social networks instead of universal moral norms and sanctions and “the rule of the law”. That, as it was pointed out above, is eroding the value of human capital.

The lack of social capital accumulation in disfavor of human capital development in Russia can be demonstrated basing on different investigations and empirical data. Briefly it can be framed into the next tendencies:

The analysis of the return on the invest-

The residual approach to human development. In 2002 Human development Index in Russia accounted for 0,763, 63 rank among the other countries (Korchagin, 2005, 36).

The law level of gross domestic expenditure on R&D (% of Russian GDP). In 1990 it amounted for 2 %, in the mid1990-s0,7/0,8 %, in 20021,24 % of Russian GDP In comparing, in Japan in 2002 public expenditure in R&D amounted for 3,13 % (Algieri, 1999,106).

The declining of wages in Russian R&D sector from the beginning of transition.

The prevailing of government financing and performing in R&D. As a consequence, the private non-profit research sector is almost absent in Russia. In Russia high education sector has a miserable share in performing R&D sector (5, 4

%) see Algieri, 1999, 127.

The number of Russian patent demands. In 1996 it accounted for 21 thousands in country and 4,9 thousands in foreign foundations inside Russia. As for the patent demands in foreign foundations outside Russia, its accounted only for 21,9 thousands. In USA the same indexes accounted for 254,4 thousands for country’s foundation, 121,4 thousands for foreign foundations inside and 2105 thousands of patent demands in foreign foundations outside USA (In Ivanov et al.eds., 2005, 11.)

The share of Russian human capital in relation to national resources. At the end of the XXe century it accounted for 50 % of national resources, in relation to world sum of human capital’s accumulation7 %. For example, in USA the same index accounted for 77 % of national resources and 26 % in relation to the world sum oh human capital’s accumulation (Korchagin, 2005, 50.) 


Russian society is characterizing by the dynamics in the reliance of Russian population on pre-modern, modern and anti-modern types of social capital networks in production their welfare.

From the beginning of the Transition the choice of Russian population of the resources of such production was in the favor of modern values. That is argued by the stable orientation of Russian population to the growth of educational level, by its preference of economic activities consistent with the modern type of social capital networks, for example, job in the official econment in educational level, which is characterized by its growth during all Transition period, confirms that Russian population has demonstrated adaptational behavior in ways consistent with the practice of modern societies.

However, the difficulties of transformation in Russia determined the increasing of a portfolio of the resources for Russian population. If from the beginning of transformation, the neo-liberal conception of the maximization of welfare was consistent with the possibilities of Russian population to invest in individual human capital and to rely on it as the basically measure for survival, that has exhausted at the end of 90’s.

The association of the data of empirical investigations concerning of such components of social capital, as civic mindedness, the existence of social norms, promoting collective actions and the degree of trust in public institutions, demonstrates the difficulties of social capital accumulation in Russian society.

The investigation of human capital development in Russia is demonstrating the lack of the involvement of social resources for the transformation of disposable nature of Russian human capital to real country’s advantage.

The case of Russia up to the present demonstrates the prevailing of the tendency of simple reproduction of human capital at individual level. Nevertheless, as it is argued by the numerous investigations both: by Western and Russian ones, the problems of the Russian human capital development can’t be resolved only at micro-social level.



  1. Allouche J., Huault I., 2001, Une vision institutionnaliste des ressources humaines : une application à l’analyse de la concurrence sur le marché du
  2. Algieri B., 2006, “Human Capital in Russia”. The European Journal of Comparative Economics. 3, N°.1, Pp.103-129.
  3. Arapov V., 2004, “Bum visshego obrazovaniya v Rossi: masshtabi, prichini I sledstviya”. (The boom of high education in Russia: scale, reasons and consequences. In Russian.) ONS, N° 6, Pp. 30-40.
  4. Avraamova , 2002. “Capacity of the Russian population for adaptation to the market environment”. RECEP, Vol.11, N° 3, Pp. 5459. 5.Avraamova E.M., Aleksandrova O.A., Loginov D.M., 2004, Sovremennoe visshee obrazovanie i perspektivi vertikalnoi mobilnosti” (The modern high school and the perspectives of social vertical mobility. .In Russian). ONS, N° 6, Pp.41-55.
  5. Becker S., 1975. Human capital. A theoretical and empirical analysis with special reference to education. Second edition. The University of Chicago Press, 268p.
  6. Bensahel L., Chamsoudinova-Stieven , 2007, « The adaptation of western management methodology to the investigation of personnelmanagement practice in Russia” in (L.Bensahel et J.Fontanel, éditeurs), « Réflexions économiques sur l’économie de marché de la Russie , Les Cahiers, Série Espace Europe, N°19, Pp.73-88.
  7. Bensahel L. Chamsoudinova-Stieven , 2006, « Capital social concept and personnelmanagement practice.» Université d’Etat de Moscou, Publications du colloque international quadriennal de sociologie, novembre.
  8. Bobylev .S.N. (Ed), 2003. Human Development Report 2002/2003 for the Russian Federation, VE MIR Publishers, Moscow,
  9. Chelovecheskij capital i Rossija” (Human capital and Russia).2005. Materiali teoreticheskogo seminara IMEMO. In Ivanov N.P., Martsinkevich V..I., Kapelushnikov R.I. (eds). RAN, Moscow, 66p.
  10. Glaeser L.E., 2001, “La formation du capital social”, ISUMA, printemps, Pp. 38-45.
  11. Kapelushnikov R., 2006, “Struktura rossiiskoi rabochei sili: osobennosti i dinamika”.Voprosi ekonomiki, N° 10, Pp. 19-40.
  12. Korchagin U. , 2005, Rossijskij chelovecheskij capital: factor razviya ili degradatsii? Voronej, -252 p.
  13. Lin N. , 1995, « Les ressources sociales. Une théorie du capital social » , Revue française de sociologie, Paris, N° 36, 685-704.
  14. Nesterova D., Sabirjanova K., 1998. Investitsii v chelovecheskij capital v perexodnij period v Rossii” (The investment in human capital during Transition in Russia. In Russian). Nauchnij doklad, N° 99/04, Dec, 1998-66p.
  15. Polishuk E.,2005, Chelovecheskij capital v ekonomike sovremennoi Rossii: problemi formirovaniya I realizatsii (The human capital in economy of modern Russii: the problems of it establishment and application). Igevsk,
  16. Ponthieux S., 2004, “Le concept de capital social, analyse critique”. Colloque de l’ACN, Paris, 21-23
  17. Putnam R.D. ,2001, “Social capital : Measurement and Consequences”, in F. Helliwell (ed) : “The contribution of Human and Social Capital to Sustained Economic Growth and Well-Being” : International Symposium Report, Développement des ressources humaines Canada et OCDE, Ottawa, cité dans Politiques à l’appui du développement durable, Réunion du Conseil de l’OCDE au niveau ministeriel.
  18. Raiser M.,Haerpfer C., Nowotny , Wallas C., 2001, “Social capital in Transition. A first look at the evidence”, Working papers, No 61, February, 30p.
  19. Rose R., 1999, “Modern, pre-modern and anti-modern social capital in Russia”, ISSN 0140-8240, 37p.
  20. Roland , 2000, Transition and economics. Politics, markets and firms. The MIT Press (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
  21. Rosefielde S., 2002, “Some obstacles to Russian competitiveness”, RECEP, 11, N° 4, Pp. 28-32.
  22. Shashkova S., 2007, Vzaimodejstvie visshego professionalnogo obrazovaniya I rinka truda v usloviyax transformatsii sovremennogo rossiiskogo obshestva.(The interconnection between high school and the labor market in transitional Russian In Russian). Tula, 212p.
  23. Schuler , 2001, « Complémentarité du capital humain et du capital social », ISUMA, printemps, pp. 20-27.
  24. Vasiljev N., i drugie. 2007. Rinok truda I rinok obrazovatelnix uslug. (In Russian). Moscow. 675p.
Year: 2013
City: Kostanay
Category: Economy