Wages of Policemen in Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Russia

Karabchuk Tatiana, Almukhametov Ruslan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The police force is the crucial pillar of safety and order in a country. Work in the police is considered to be risky, highly demanding, and very responsible. Both government and society expect excellent work from police officers. A country's development defines the development of its institutions, including the police, which is why many transition economies went through police reforms recently. One of the reforms' targets was the wage of police officers. Unfortunately, the police force is a very closed social group and can rarely be identified in household surveys, so information is scarce. However, it is very important to know and understand how wages are determined in the police force and if there are any differences among countries with transition economies. How much do the wages vary inside the police? This paper is aimed at analyzing the wage formation mechanism in Post-Soviet countries like Kazakhstan and Russia and in Eastern European countries like Bulgaria and Latvia. In 2012, the highest average monthly wage was to be found in Bulgaria (1,428) and the lowest was in Kazakhstan (595). A regression analysis on the collected data from police officers' interviews (with a sample size of 1,854 policemen) showed that education, tenure, department, and rank determined police wages but also that the factors differed from country to country. Education is the crucial factor in Bulgaria and increases wages by 27%, while in other countries education has no effect on police wages. In Russia, the most significant influence on wages is rank. The higher-ranked police officers receive up to 55% more than lower-ranked officers do.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-49
Number of pages29
JournalEkonomicheskaya Sotsiologiya
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Bulgaria
  • Determinants of wage
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Police
  • Police department
  • Russia
  • Wage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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