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Working paper

Can non-cognitive skills explain the gender wage gap in Russia? An unconditional quantile regression approach

Non-cognitive skills are widely recognized in economics as an important factor that affects various individual outcomes, including wages and employment. Non-cognitive skills can also serve as an additional explanation for the gender wage gap. This paper disentangles the complex relationship between non-cognitive skills and the gender wage gap based on Russian data. Data are collected from a nationally representative Russian survey RLMS-HSE and include detailed information on individuals aged 20–60. We use the Big Five factor model, locus of control, and attitudes towards risk to represent non-cognitive skills. Our findings suggest that non-cognitive skills account for up to 8 per cent of the gender wage gap, although significant variation is observed with different measures of personality and across the wage distribution. We conclude that personality traits are noteworthy but not exhaustive factors in the gender wage gap, and there are other unobserved factors which researchers have yet to identify.