Staunton, Oct. 1 – Since the early 1990s, the Higher School of Economics has been conducting a panel study of Russian behavior, asking the same individuals about how they are living and reacting to the numerous and large changes that have taken place in their country over the last 30 years.
The data base that has been collected has become the basis for more than 3500 research studies given that much of the data from this panel study is not available any other way, including from official sources. (For the data set, see hse.ru/rlms/spss and rlms-hse.cpc.unc.edu/data/tochno.st/materials/za-poslednie-30-let-zhizn-rossiyan-radikalno-izmenilas-k-schastyu-est-baza-dannykh-kotoraya-pozvolyaet-eto-otslezhivat-rmez-ot-vysshey-shkoly-ekonomiki-obyasnyaem-kak-ey-polzovatsya).
Fifty-seven percent of the studies using this data have been in Russia, while 41 percent have been in English. And they often provide insights into issues for which there is no other good source and about life in regions far from the Russian capitals. But perhaps the most important aspect of this panel study has been the possibility of dividing the population into control groups and those most effected by changes and policies.
Because the HSE investigators have identified those they speak according to so many parameters, it is relatively easy for researchers using this data base to treat one group of people as a control group and others as the targets of change and policy, thus allowing scholars to identify how such changes have affected the population as a whole.