I am a quantitative social scientist at the University of Exeter. I study ethnic groups and inequalities in education, in Russia and in the UK.

Recently completed and ongoing projects:

1. Ethnic groups on Russian social media.

VK, the largest Russian social media website, provides an API that can be used for downloading data for social research. However, VK does not record users’ ethnicity. In a recent working paper we developed an ML-based method to code perceived ethnicity with the data on personal names collected on VK.

  • Bessudnov, A. et al. (2021). “Predicting ethnicity with data on personal names in Russia”. SocArXiv. 19 October. [Open access]

2. Ethnic intermarriage in Russia.

With Christiaan Monden we used data from the Russian census to look at ethnic intermarriage in Russia across several cohorts and cities.

A.Bessudnov & C.Monden. (2021). “Ethnic intermarriage in Russia: The Tale of Four Cities”. Post-Soviet Affairs 37 (4): 383-403. [Open access]

3. Ethnic hierarchy in the Russian labour market.

Together with Andrey Shcherbak from the HSE St Petersburg we conducted the first audit study of ethnic discrimination in the Russian labour market. We have sent over 9,000 job applications in four Russian cities to explore the differences in response rates across 10 ethnic groups. The project was supported by the British Academy and the HSE as part of the International Mobility and Partnership scheme.

A.Bessudnov & A.Shcherbak. (2020). “Ethnic discrimination in multi-ethnic societies: Evidence from Russia”. European Sociological Review 36 (1): 104-120. [Open access]


In Exeter, I teach courses on immigration and quantitative data analysis. Please see details in Teaching.