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Article

Democratizing Access to Higher Education in Russia: The Consequences of the Unified State Exam Reform

European Economic Review. 2019. Vol. 117. P. 56-82.
Francesconi M., Slonimczyk F., Yurko A.

This is the first paper that evaluates the effects of a reform requiring Russian universities to make admission decisions based on the results of a national high-school exam. We show the reform led to a threefold increase in geographic mobility rates among high-school graduates from small cities and towns to start college. This is robust to different techniques, samples, and specifications. The reform was also accompanied by increases in students’ expectations to attend university, parental transfers, and educational expenditures. There is no evidence the reform affected parental labor supply, divorce, and employment outcomes of graduates who did not move.