I am a quantitative social scientist at the University of Exeter. I am mostly interested in ethnic inequalities and inequalities in education and conduct research both on Russia and the UK.

Currently I am involved in the following projects.

1. 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 has been supported by the British Academy and the HSE as part of the International Mobility and Partnership scheme.

The results are now available as a working paper:

A.Bessudnov & A.Shcherbak. (2018). “Ethnic hierarchy in the Russian labour market: A field experiment”. SocArXiv. 16 October. doi:10.31235/osf.io/2qzus.

2. The effect of academisation on educational trajectories of children with special needs in England.

Together with Alison Black, Brahm Norwich and Yi Liu we analyse data from the National Pupil Database to study educational trajectories of children with special educational needs in English schools. In particular, we are interested in whether converting schools to academies has affected placements of children with SEN. The project has been funded by the ESRC.

3. Ethnic intermarriage in Russia.

I use data from the Russian census to look at the ethnic intermarriage in Russia across several cohorts and regions. Please see a (somewhat outdated) presentation here.

4. Social inequaities in education in Russia.

Together with Dmitry Kurakin and Valeriya Malik from the HSE Moscow, we explore social inequalities in Russian education, with a particular focus on primary and secondary effects of parental background. This project uses data from TrEC (Trajectories in Education and Careers), the first longitudinal study of educational trajectories in Russia. Currently we explore horizontal stratification in higher education. See the latest presentation here (in Russian).


In Exeter, I teach courses on immigration, policy evaluation in education and advanced data analysis. Please see details in Teaching.